Our loss in this memorable battle was computed as follows: Killed, 309 ; wounded, 1483 ; making an aggregate of 1852. This statement is taken from General Beanregard's report. In Gener al'Johnston's report, written from Fairfax Court-House, the result

was summed up in this wise : Killed, 378; wounded, 1489; miss ing, 30; aggregate, 1897.

The enemy's loss was not officially acknowledged at the time. The feeling which had led the .Northern press to conceal the real strength of General McDowell's army seems also to have impelled the enemy to withhold a true statement of his casualties.

In his report, so often quoted from—the whole of which ap pears in the appendix to this chapter—General Beauregard says: " The actual loss of the enemy will never be known—it may now only be conjectured. Their abandoned dead, as they were buried by our people where they fell, unfortunately were not enumerated, but many parts of the field were thick with their corpses as but few battle-fields have ever been. The official reports of the enemy are studiously silent on this point, but still afford us data for an approximate estimate. Left almost in the dark in respect to the losses of Hunter's and Heintzelman's divisions— first, longest, and most hotly engaged — we are informed that Sherman's brigade, Tyler's division, suffered, in killed, wounded, and missing, 609—that is, about eighteen per cent, of the bri gade. A regiment of Franklin's brigade—Gorman's—lost twenty-one per cent. Griffin's (battery) loss was thirty per cent., and that of K eyes's brigade, which was so handled by its commander as to be exposed to only occasional volleys from our troops, was at least ten per cent. To these facts add the repeated references in the reports of the reticent commanders to the 'murderous' fire to which they were habitually exposed, the 'pistol-range' volleys and galling musketry, of which they speak as scourging their ranks, and we are warranted in placing the entire loss of the Fed erals at over forty'-Jive hundred in killed, wounded, and prisoners. To this may be legitimately added, as a casualty of the battle, the thousands of fugitives from the field, who never rejoined their regiments, and who were as much lost to the enemy's service as if slain or disabled by wounds. These may not be included under the head of ' missing,' because in every instance of such report we took as many prisoners of those brigades or regiments as are re ported ' missing.' " In his report, General Johnston, confirming General Beauregard's estimate, says: " The loss of the enemy could not be ascertained. It must have been between four and five thousand."

It is not our purpose to dwell at any length on that part of a

subject which, to us, appears of but minor importance in compar ison with the real question at issue, to wit—the result of the bat tle of Manassas, or, in other words, the acknowledged victory of the Confederate forces over an army vastly superior in point of number, armament, and equipment.

The reader is already informed of the correct strength of our united forces, on the morning of the 21st July. It was increased by 1TOO infantry, and a battery, on the arrival of part of General Kirby Smith's command, at 3.30 r. M., which would bring up our aggregate to 30,SSS of all arms. It must be borne in mind, how ever, that the commands of Generals Holmes and Ewell, aggre gating at least 3000 men, though mentioned on our field returns as present at and around Manassas, were never directly engaged with the enemy on that day.

General Beaure^ard estimates as follows the numerical strength


of the Federal forces against us. AVc quote from his report: "Making all allowances for mistakes, we are warranted in saying that the Federal army consisted of at \c^i fifty-five regiments of volunteers, eight companies of regular infantry, four of marines, nine of the regular cavalry, and twelve batteries, numbering to gether one hundred and nineteen guns. These regiments, at one time, . . . numbered, in the aggregate, fifty-four thousand one hundred and forty, and averaged nine hundred and sixty-four men each." Deducting as many as one hundred and sixty-four per regiment, for the sick, and men on detached service, the aver age would then be reduced to eiyht hundred man. Adding, now, the different commands of regulars of all arms, mentioned above, and the aggregate of the Federal army opposing us at Manassas could not have been less i\&i\ fifty thousand men.

The facts that have transpired one by one, gradually throwing light upon this point, have already fallen within the domain of history, and show, conclusively, in spite of the extreme reticence of many Federal commanders, that an army fifty thousand strong, under General McDowell, was defeated and routed, nt Manassas, on the 21st of July, 1861, by less than thirty thousand Confeder ate troops, under the immediate command, before and during the battle, of General G. T. Beauregard. I.—8


President Davis and Generals Johnston and Beauregard Discuss the Propriety of Pursuing the Enemy during the Night following the Battle.—Error of Mr. Davis as to the Order he Wrote.—On the 22d General Beauregard As signs his Troops to New Positions.—The President Confers the Rank of General on General Beauregard, subject to the Approval of Congress.—On the 25th, Address Issued to Troops by Generals Johnston and Beauregard. —Organization of General Bcauregard's Army into Brigades.—Impossi bility of any Military Movement of Importance, and Why.—Army With out Transportation and Without Subsistence.—Colonel Northrop Appoints Major W. B. Blair as Chief Commissary of the Army.—General Beauregard Informs the President of the Actual State of Affairs.—Colonel Lee to the President.—General Beauregard to Colonels Chestnut and Miles.—His Telegram to Colonel Myers.—Answer of President Davis.—General Beau-regard's Reply.—Colonel Myers alleges Ignorance of Want of Transporta tion in the Army of the Potomac.—General Beauregard's Answer.—Cause of the Failure of the Campaign.—Effect of General Beaurcgard's Letter upon Congress.—An Apparent Improvement in Commissary and Quarter master Departments.—General Beauregard Complains again on the 23d of August.—No Action Taken.—Suggests Removal of Colonel Northrop. —The President believes in his Efficiency, and Upholds him.—Fifteen and Twenty Days' Rations asked for by General Beauregard.

TOWARDS 1.1 P.M., on the day of the battle, while President Davis, at General Beauregard's headquarters, was engaged in writ ing the despatch to General Cooper given in the preceding chap ter, information was received, through Captain Hill, of General Johnston's forces, that the enemy, at Centreville, was in a com plete state of demoralization, and in full flight towards Washing ton. Upon learning this, President Davis, with great animation, urged the necessity of an immediate pursuit by General Bonham's forces, which, with General Longstreet's brigade, were then in the closest proximity to Centreville. After a brief discussion of the matter between the President and Generals Johnston and Beaure gard, it was agreed that, as Captain Hill's informal report was not sufficiently authenticated, and the troops were fatigued and with out rations, the suggestion made should not be acted upon ; no order, therefore, was issued for its execution.

Mr. Davis's memory, that such an order was actually dictated by him, and modified as to the hour of its execution, is clearly at fault. This is shown by Colonel (afterwards General) Jordan's letter, referred to by Mr. Davis himself, as the authority for his assertion to that effect. That Generals Johnston and Beauregard kept no copy of an order that fell still-born from the lips of tlit.' President, is not to be wondered at; and Colonel Jordan, no doubt —and very naturally—destroyed it as soon as it was penned, there having been, as he says, " a unanimous decision against it." From this expression we infer that Mr. Davis, no less than the two gen erals, acknowledged the uselessness of the order.

There was no other order for pursuit given, or spoken of, that night. So says General Beauregard; so says Colonel Jordan, his chief of staff; so would undoubtedly say General Johnston, who was opposed to any further immediate advance of our troops after the battle. The order dictated substantially to Colonel Jordan, and condemned and abandoned without being "despatched,"' is the only order with which Mr. Davis had anything to do on the night of the 21st of July. Colonel Jordan, in the letter quoted by Mr. Davis, says : " This was the only instance during Mr. Davis's stay at Manassas in which lie exercised any voice as to the move ment of the troops. Profoundly pleased with the results achieved, . . . his bearing towards the generals who commanded them was eminently proper, as I have testified on a former occasion ; and I repeat, he certainly expressed or manifested no opposition to a for ward movement, nor did he display the least disposition to inter fere, by opinion or authority, touching what the Confederate forces should or should not do.' 1

An " order to the same effect," says Mr. Davis (that is, an order for pursuit, modified by him, and by him deferred till the next day, at early dawn)," was sent'' by General Beauregard, "on the night of the 21st of July, . . . for a copy of which" Mr. Davis is "indebted to the kindness of that chivalrous gentleman, soldier, and patriot, General Bonham." f

This is another error.

The order sent to General Bonham by General Beauregard, and given in full in Mr. Davis's book, J was not for the pursuit of the

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government,' 1 vol. i. p. 354. t Ibid. vol. i. p. 355. J Ibid. vol. i. pp. 355, 35G.

enemy, but for the purpose of making a reconnoissance—of afford ing assistance to our wounded, and of collecting " all the arms, am munition, and abandoned stores, subsistence, and baggage," that could be found " on the road in our front towards Centreville," and on other roads by which the enemy had retreated towards the stone bridge and Sudley's Mills.

Whoever reads the order here referred to cannot fail to see, from its very phraseology, that it conveys no such meaning as Mr. Davis is pleased to ascribe to it. For the order required that Gen eral Bonham should take with him "a vast amount of transporta tion," which, of itself, would have impeded the pursuit. And Mr. Davis acknowledges that " the 22d, the day after the battle, was spent in following up the line of the retreating foe, and collecting the large supplies of arms, of ammunition, and other military stores." Nor must it be forgotten that, at the time mentioned by Mr. Davis, General Johnston was already in actual command of our united forces, and that General Beauregard had, therefore, no authority to issue any such orders. Strange, indeed, would it have been that the general second in command should have sent his troops, or part of his troops, in pursuit of the enemy, when he knew that his superior in rank had expressed strong opposition to any immediate advance on our part, and had declared it utterly impracticable.

Just then, General Johnston was correct in his judgment. Our troops—even those that had taken no part in the battle—were more or less exhausted by marches and countermarches, and our cavalry was evidently too insignificant in number to admit of any serious hope of an effectual pursuit that night, or even the next morning. Another obstacle, of no minor importance, intervened, which was sufficient of itself to cut short all idea of then following


the routed Federal army. On the evening of the 21st, at about nine o'clock, the heavens began to assume a threatening appear ance, and, a few hours later, a heavy rain fell, which lasted unre mittingly throughout the whole of the succeeding day. Mean while, our troops were without provisions, and had no means of transportation. The railroad bridge across Bull Run had been de stroyed, too, and its reconstruction was indispensable to open the way for a farther advance, which, thus deferred, could no longer

* "Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 359.

be called a pursuit. The fact is, the pursuit ordered by General Beauregard, at the close of the buttle,* having been stopped at about 6.30 P.M., in consequence of the false alarm referred to in the preceding chapter, no movement that night could have met with a successful result. It should have been instantly and vigor ously made, " on the very heels of the flying enemy;" and, even then, it could not have been kept up long tinder the circum stances.

At pages 359, 360, of the first volume of his work, Mr. Davis says: "On the night of the 22d I held a second conference with Generals Johnston andBeauregard, . . . and propounded to them the inquiry as to what more it was practicable to do. They con curred as to their inability to cross the Potomac; and to the fur ther inquiry as to an advance to the south side of the Potomac, General Beauregard promptly stated that there were strong forti fications there, occupied by garrisons which had not been in the battle, and were therefore not affected by the panic which had seized the defeated army. He declared those fortifications as hav ing wide, deep ditches, with palisades, which would prevent the escalade of the works. Turning to General Johnston, he said, ' They have spared no expense.' ;:

Here, truth compels us to state that, in all this matter, Mr. DaviVs memory is again unqualifiedly at fault. General Beaure gard could not have spoken as he is represented to have done, for the simple reason that all the information then in his pos session, whether received by means of his u underground rail road" or otherwise, led him to the strong belief that Washington was, at that time, entirely unprotected; that the works on the south side of the Potomac were barely commenced, except Fort Hunnyon, which was still incomplete, and armed with but a few guns; as appeared by a sketch of it, received in the usual mysteri ous way from within the enemy's lines. Mrs. G- , to whose

tact and intelligence was due most of the secret knowledge of the condition of affairs at and around the Federal capital, had assured General Beauregard, many a time, that no obstacle ex isted to prevent a successful advance on our part, and that noth ing was dreaded more by those high in authority at "Washington. More than once, after the battle of Manassas, Mrs. G ended

* Sec report of battle, in Chapter IX.

her despatches in these words: "Come on! why do you not come?" We could, in this connection, were it not necessary to resume the thread of our narrative, tell of some very interesting occurrences, showing the manner in which news was brought to General Beauregard from Washington. We mention a single in stance. About the middle of July, on a bright, sultry morning, a young lady of much refinement, and possessing both youth and beauty, rode into General Bonham's lines, at Fairfax Court-Ilouse, and delivered to him a despatch of great importance, for General Beauregard, "from our friends in Washington." She had incurred great fatigue and danger in the accomplishment of her mission. This despatch she carried carefully concealed in her hair, which, when enrolled in the presence of the Confederate general, appeared to him—to use his own language—" the most beautiful he had ever seen on human head."* The young lady in question was a resident of the Federal capital, and had passed out of it in a small farm wagon, disguised as a plain country woman coining from market. Farther on her wav, at the resi-

O */ '

dence of a relative, well known and wealthy, she obtained the horse she was riding and the habit she then wore. We refrain from giving her name, but it will never be forgotten either by General Beauregard or by General Bonham, and is, no doubt, as deeply graven upon the memory of the several staff officers who had the pleasure of escorting her through our lines. We wish, nevertheless—and look upon it as a duty—to place upon record her patriotic deed, so fearlessly and successfully accomplished.

Irregular and unofficial as were the secret communications here spoken of, General Beauregard, who knew their importance and trustworthiness, never failed to forward their contents to the War Department. Mr. Davis, therefore, was aware — or should have been—of what General Beauregard thought of the readiness

£5 O

of Washington to resist an advance of our forces at that time. It is not here pretended that no one spoke to Mr. Davis, on that occasion, as lie asserts that General Beauregard did; but it is now stated, emphatically, and on the direct authority of General Beauregard, that he did not make use of anv such language to

£3 j c/ O O

Mr. Davis. In support of the position here so positively assumed the reader is referred, first, to the fact, afterwards so thoroughly

*From a letter of General Bonham to General Beauregard.


verified, that no fortifications existed then at or around Washing ton ; none, at any rate, that could have seriously obstructed the inarch of our army; second, to General Beauregard's letter to Colo nels Chestnut and Miles, bearing date July 29th, 1SC1, and to his answer to President Davis (August 10th of the same year), where in is considered this very question of an advance upon Washing ton, and its feasibility, as late as the 2±th of July. These letters appear in full further on in the present chapter. The fact is, that General Beau regard's whole correspondence, official and pri vate, touching these events, confirms, in every respect, what is stated in the two letters above mentioned.

Our object is not, at present, to dwell upon the causes—what ever they may have been—of our failure to reap the fruits of that first great victory of the war. AVe wish merely to state that General Beaurcgard exonerates Mr. Davis from all responsibility for the failure to pursue the enemy on the night of the 21st of July. Mr. Davis did not object to such a pursuit; on the con trary, he desired it. But it was declared inexpedient, and, after discussion, Mr. Davis himself acknowledged it to be so. This, however, does not relieve him from the responsibility of prevent ing, a few days or weeks later, the advance of our army, in an aggressive campaign against Washington.

On the morning after the battle an order was issued by General Beauregard, recalling his troops to their organization, and assign ing them new positions, with the advance—Bonham's brigade— at Centrcville. Ilolmes's brigade, by direction of President Davis, was ordered back to "its former position."" 1

At the breakfast-table, on the same morning, the President handed General Beauregard the following graceful letter:

" MANASSAS, VA., July 21tf, 1801.

"/Sir,—Appreciating your services in the battle of Manassas and on several other occasions during the existing war, as affording the highest evidence of your skill as a commander, your gallantry as a soldier, and your zeal as a patriot, you are appointed to be 'General' in the army of the Confederate States of America, and, with the consent of the Congress, will be duly com missioned accordingly. " Yours, etc.,


On the 23d, Hunton's Sth Virginia, with three companies of

Sec Appendix to this chapter.

cavalry, was ordered to re-occupy Leesburg, and Bonham's brig ade, with Delaware Kemper's and Shields's batteries and a force of cavalry, were ordered to advance to Vienna Station, and Long-street to Centreville. As the leading column was approaching Fairfax Court-House, Captain Terry, of Texas, a noted marks man, lowered the Federal flag by cutting the halliards with a rifle ball. This flag was sent, through General Longstreet, as a present to General Beauregard, but was placed among the stock of tro phies where it belonged, as well as a larger flag, offered to Mr. Davis, who had already left Manassas for Richmond. Many spoils were gathered daring and after the battle; and the line of march of our troops, on their way to the new positions assigned them, was rich in abandoned arms and other military property. A great deal was carried off by the people, and was recovered with much trouble.

On the 25th, Generals Johnston and Beauregard issued an ad dress to their troops, awarding to them the praises they deserved for their patriotic courage on the battle-fields of the 18th and 21st. The concluding words were as follows: " Soldiers, we con-


gratnlate you on a glorious, triumphant, and complete victory. We thank you for doing your whole duty in the service of your country."

On that day, also, General Beauregard, in anticipation, it might be said, of the future orders of the government, organized his army, as now increased into eight brigades, each of which was made up of regiments coming from a single State. But no mili tary movement of importance could be undertaken, on account of additional embarrassments from the want of transportation and subsistence. Only one wagon and four horses were assigned to every hundred men. Each brigade staff and each hospital were limited to the same insufficient transportation. The army was living from hand to mouth, and actually suffering from want of food. Colonel R. B. Lee, the efficient Chief Commissary of the army in the field, had not been long in finding out that the ways of the Commissary-General, Colonel Northrop, were altogether im practicable ; and, in order to keep our forces properly supplied, he was compelled to resort, in a measure, to the system formerly pursued by Captain Fowle, under General Beauregard's instruc tions, and without which the arm} would have fallen to pieces, even before the battle of Manassas. Colonel Northrop, thereupon,

became very much irritated against the energetic Colonel Lee, and, without consulting or informing the general of either army, superseded him, as he had lately done Captain Fowle, for a sim ilar reason, appointing another Chief Commissary, namely, Major William B. Blair.

With regard to this all-important question of provisioning the arm} 7 and supplying it with transportation, we put before the reader the following letters, which speak for themselves, and show General Beauregard's sagacity and intense anxiety upon these points. They also hold up to public view the appalling misman agement of all army affairs at Richmond, in relation to the Quar termaster and Commissary Departments.

'• CAMP PICKENS. July 23(7, 1SG1. u To His Excellency the President of the Confederate States:

"Sir, —I am commanded by General Beauregard to inform your Excellency that the stock of provisions has become alarmingly reduced, in consequence of the non-fulfilment of requisitions of the Commissary-General.

u The general directs me to say, that unless immediate supplies are forwarded, in conformity with these requisitions, most serious consequences are inevitable. " With much respect, your obedient servant,


and Chief Commissary of Army of Potomac."

On the 20th of July, no satisfactory change having resulted from the foregoing communication to the President, General Beau-regard wrote the following letter to Colonels Win. P. Miles and James Chestnut, both members of the Confederate Congress, at that time, and both of whom had acted as his volunteer aids in South Carolina and in Virginia.

" MAXASSAS, VIRGINIA, July 29M, 1801.

"My dear Colonels, —I send you, herewith, some important suggestions rel ative to the best mode of providing for the wants of this army, furnished me by Colonel L. M. Hatch, whose experience in such matters entitles his views and opinions to considerable weight. Unless the requirements of our army in the field are provided for beforehand, we shall be in a perfect state of destitu tion very shortly.

"I will remark here, that we have been out of subsistence for several days, some of my regiments not having had anything to eat for more than twenty-four hours. They have stood it, though, nobly; but, if it happens again, I shall join one of their camps and share their wants with them; for I will never al low them to suppose that I feast while they suffer.

"The want of food and transportation has made us lose all the fruits of our

victory. We ought at this moment to be in or about Washington, but we are perfectly anchored here, and God only knows when we will be able to advance; without these means we can neither advance nor retreat. The mobility of an army, which constitutes the great strength of modern armies, does not certainly form an element of ours, for w r e seem to be rooted to this spot.

" Cannot something be done towards furnishing us more expeditiously and regularly with food and transportation ?

" It seems to me that if the States had been called upon to furnish their quota of wagons per regiment in the field, one of these evils could have been obviated.

" From all accounts, Washington could have been taken up to the 24th in stant, by twenty thousand men ! Only think of the brilliant results we have lost by the two causes referred to!

" Again, we must have a few more field-officers from the old service, other wise our regiments will get worsted sooner or later.

" In haste, yours truly,


On the 1st of August he forwarded the following telegram to Colonel A. C. Myers, Assistant Quartermaster-General:

" Several of my brigades are entirely destitute of transportation; no advance can be made until procured. Can you not send me about one hundred wagons ?


Congress becoming alarmed—and justly so—at such a state of affairs, upon information communicated to it by members of the Military Committee, instituted an investigation, which, besides very much incensing the heads of the two departments implicated, also aroused the displeasure of the President, who gave expression to his irritation in the following letter:


" My dear Sir, —Enclosed I transmit copies of a resolution of inquiry and the reply to it. You will perceive that the answer was made in view of the tele gram which I enclosed to you, that being the only information then before me. Since that time it has been communicated to me that your letter to lion. Mr. Miles, on the wants of your army, and the consequences thereof, was read to the Congress, and hence the inquiry instituted. Permit me to request that you will return the telegram to me, which I enclosed to show you the form in which the matter came before me.

"Some excitement has been created by your letter; the Quartermaster and the Commissary General both feel that they have been unjustly arraigned. As for myself, I can only say that I have endeavored to anticipate wants, and any failure which has occurred from -imperfect knowledge might have been best avoided by timely requisitions and estimates.

" I think you arc unjust to yourself in putting your failure to pursue the enemy to Washington to the account of short supplies of subsistence and trans portation. Under the circumstances of our army, and in the absence of the knowledge since acquired, if, indeed, the statements be true, it would have been extremely hazardous to have done more than was performed. You will not fail to remember that, so far from knowing that the enemy was routed, a large part of our forces was moved by yon, in the night of the 21st, to repel a sup posed attack on our right, and that the next day's operations did not fully reveal what has since been reported of the enemy's panic.

"Enough was done for glory, and the measure of duty was full; let us rather show the untaught that their desires are unreasonable, than, by dwell ing on possibilities recently developed, give form and substance to the criti cisms always easy to those who judge after the event.

'' With sincere esteem, I am, your friend,


The foregoing letter shows, among other tilings, how complete ly the reiterated suggestions and remonstrances and requisitions of General Beauregard concerning the necessity of supplies and transportation, had slipped President Davis's memory. AVe re frain from fatiguing the attention of the reader, by again placin^

1 * o

before him the evidence and correspondence given on this sub ject in a preceding chapter (Chapter VI.). It is enough to say that, from the 3d of June, just after his arrival at Manassas, to the time when President Davis penned the letter given above, General Beauregard had never ceased calling his attention and that of the "War Department to the vital importance of these two matters. How President Davis could possibly plead "imperfect knowledge," and complain of want " of timely requisitions and estimates," is more than we can understand ; and we have sought in vain, in his book, for any satisfactory explanation of the matter. But General Beauregard's answer to the President dispenses with the necessity for further comment :

AS, YA., August IQth, 1861.

u Dear Sir, — Your letter of the 4th instant has been received, but my end less occupations have prevented me from acknowledging it immediately, as I should have done.

"I regret exceedingly to hear that Colonel Miles read my letter of the 29th to Congress. It was written only for the purpose of expediting matters, if possible, and immediately after having been informed that one brigade and two or more regiments were without food, and had been so for twenty-four hours. I had before been informed that we were short of provisions ; but I never supposed it would be permitted to go to the extent referred to. Some time before the battle of the 21st ultimo I had endeavored to remedy the im-


pending evil by ordering Major Fowle, the acting Commissary-General here, to provide a certain number of rations, by purchasing in the surrounding coun ties, which drew from the Commissary-General of the army a letter so dis courteous to me that the want of time alone prevented me from enclosing it to you for your consideration.

"With regard to making timely requisitions on the Quartermaster and Commissary Department, not knowing what number of troops the War De partment intended at any time to concentrate here, it was impossible to make proper requisitions until after the arrival of those troops.

" I will here remark, that troops arriving at this place have often been a day or more without food in the cars, and I have had several times to order issues of provisions here to troops on their way to Winchester, for the same cause. I accuse no one, I state facts.

" I am fully aware that you have done more than could be expected of you for this army, and that it is utterly impossible you should be able to direct each one of the bureaus of the War Department, but the facts referred to show a deficiency somewhere, which ought to be remedied, otherwise we will, soon er or later, be liable to the same unfortunate results.

" My experience here teaches me that, after issuing an order, I have to in quire whether it has been carried into effect; this is especially the case with the newly arrived troops.

" With regard to my remarks about inarching on to Washington, you must have misunderstood them, for I never stated that we could have pursued the enemy on the evening of the 21st, or even on the 22d. I wrote: ' The want of food and transportation has made us lose all the fruits of our victory. We ought at this time, the 29th of July, to be in or about Washington, and, from all accounts, Washington could have been taken up to the 24th inst. (July), by twenty thousand men.'

" Every news from there confirms me still more in that opinion. For sev eral days (about one week) after the battle, I could not put my new regi ments in position for want of transportation. I do not say this to injure my friend Colonel Myers, but to benefit the service. We have, no doubt, by our success here, achieved ' glory ' for our country, but I am fighting for some thing more real and tangible, i. <?., to save our homes and firesides from our Northern invaders, and to maintain our freedom and independence as a na tion. After that task shall have been accomplished, as I feel that I am only fit for private life, I shall retire to my home, if my means will permit, never again to leave it, unless called upon to repel again the same or another foe. " With much respect, I remain,

" Sincerely your friend,


The same surprise and want of knowledge expressed by Pres ident Davis, concerning the deficiency of these two departments, was also manifested—strange, to say—by the Quartermaster-Gen eral himself. His communication to General Beauregard, dated

August 1st, establishes the almost incredible fact that the head of one of the most important of our departments did not know the state of its affairs. This was but additional evidence of improvi dence and mismanagement. There was this difference, however, between Colonel Myers and Colonel Northrop; the former was ever ready to correct an error when in his power to do so, the lat ter would not allow his errors to be pointed out, and, still less, discussed. In Colonel Myers's letter to General Beauregard, above referred to, he writes: "I never, until day before yesterday, have heard one word of this deficiency; then, the knowledge came to me through a despatch from GeneralJ. E. Johnston, to the Adju tant-General. I took immediate steps to collect, at Manassas, as much transportation as I suppose you will require. . . . The military operations and manoeuvres of your army are never di vulged, and it is utterly impossible for me to know how to an ticipate your wants. . . . We have had, so far, too many heads, which I can say to you, and which means, we have /md no head at all. You should write me often, if only a line, when any thing is required, and you shall be provided if possible/'

The only conclusion to be drawn from this is, that General Beauregard's demands and requisitions made to the War Depart ment were totally disregarded, and never reached the office of the Quartermaster-General. We now give General Beau regard's answer to Colonel Myers:

'•MANASSAS, VA., Augmt 5th, 18C1.

"Dear Colonel, —Your favor of the 1st has been received. My surprise was as great as yours to find that you had not been informed of our want of transportation, which has so crippled us, together with the want of provisions, that we have been anchored here since the battle, not being able to send a, few regiments three or four miles from their former positions. Major Cabell says that, 'Knowing your inability to comply with his former requisitions for wagons, etc., he thought it was useless to make new ones upon you, hence he was trying to get them from around here.' Be that as it may, the result was, that about fifteen thousand men were sent me by the AVar Department, with out one solitary icagon. Before tile arrival of these troops, we had, per reg iment, only about twelve wagons of the meanest description, being coun try wagons, that break down whenever they come to a bad part of the road. General Johnston's command had only about seven wagons per regi ment on arriving here. This state of things cannot and ought not to last longer.

"I am perfectly willing to fight, but my troops must be provided with all the means necessary to constitute an army. I must be prepared to advance

or retreat according to circumstances, otherwise disasters will overtake us in every direction.

" For a long time I could not get more than twenty rounds of ammunition per man, when within a few miles (not over ten) from an enemy three times our strength.

" I have applied forColonelJ. L. Kemper, 7th Virginia regiment, to be made Provisional Quartermaster-General of this and Johnston's army. I wish you would aid in the matter. I should like, also, to have General McGowan, of South Carolina, appointed in that department. He would be very useful. The best man for each position must be looked for and appointed forthwith, without regard to other considerations; otherwise we will never succeed in defeating the enemy, w r ho is more numerous than we, and has more resources at hand. In haste, yours truly,


Upon calm reflection, an impartial mind is forced to acknowl edge that the failure of this campaign, during what were so appro priately called " the golden days of the Confederacy," was the un mistakable result of short-sighted and inefficient management, the responsibility for which rests upon him who, though clearly un able to give personal supervision to and direct each detail of the wheels of government, yet would allow no latitude either to the heads of the various bureaus of the War Department, or to the generals in the field.

The unceasing efforts of General Beauregard finally succeeded in stirring up the authorities at Richmond, and brought about some effort to produce a favorable change in the administration of the Quartermaster's and Commissary's Departments. This is testified to by the following letter of Hon. W. P. Miles, of South Carolina, then chairman of the Military Committee of Congress, addressed to General Beauregard, under date of August 8th, 1861:

"Dear General, —Your despatch has just been received, and I hasten to send you copy of your letter, as you desire.

"Whatever 'the powers that be' may think of it, or however much they may foil to relish it, I have no doubt it has had, and will continue to have, a very salutary and stimulating effect. You may rely upon it, Congress and the country sympathize with you, although there may be and arc differences of opinion as to the immediate advance upon Washington.

" Very truly yours,


But the improvement alluded to—a spasmodic one, it would seem, and one which had been altogether compulsory—was only of very short duration. Colonel Myers, it is fair to say, seriously

exerted himself, and, in a reasonable measure, satisfied many of the exigencies of the hour. But Colonel Northrop was less open to conviction. This officer, whose want of administrative capacity was obvious to all—the President alone excepted—could not be induced to pursue any other than the inefficient, improvident course he had, thus far, so persistently followed. This fact is again brought to notice by the following extract from another communication from General Beaurcgard to President Davis:


MANASSAS, YA., August 23<Z, 1801. "To His Excellency, President JEFFERSON DAVIS, etc., etc.:

u Dear >SVr,—I have the honor to enclose you herewith a copy of the state ment of provisions, etc., remaining on hand at this point and available, on the 21st instant, for the army of the Potomac, by which it will be seen that little improvement has taken place in that respect, since I last had the honor of ad dressing your Excellency on the subject, on the 10th instant; and that we are still as unprepared to advance or retreat, in consequence thereof, as at that period. A serious accident to the railroads, from here to liichmoml, would place this army in quite a critical condition, so far as its subsistence is con cerned.

"For the active operations that we may be called upon shortly to make in this vicinity, with Camp Pickcns as a pivot <V act ion (centre of movement), it ought to be provided with at least fifteen or twenty days' provisions on hand; otherwise, to prevent the enemy from taking possession of our lines of com munication, we would have to abandon this place and fall back, as our forces could not be provided with means of subsistence. I regret to say that we could not now march from here with even three days' rations. I earnestly and solicitously call your attention to this important subject. AVithout an ample supply of provisions we will be perfectly powerless.

u I hope you will do me the justice to believe that these facts are brought to your Excellency's attention, without regard whatsoever to individuals. I look only to the success of our cause, regardless of friends or foes.


" I remain, dear Sir, respectfully,

"Your obedient servant and friend,


The most effective mode of remedying these evils was, ns General Beauregard and many other leading men of the country had pointed out and suggested, forthwith to remove Colonel JSTorthrop from a position he was so inadequate to fill. But this the admin istration would not do. In spite of the pressure of public opinion, brought to bear against the Commissary-General, whose honesty none doubted, but whose incapacity all knew, the President per-

sistently upheld him, as lie was wont to do all personal friends of his. This is corroborated by the following extract from a signifi cant letter of the Hon. Win. P. Miles to General Beauregard, bear ing date of Richmond, August 6th, 1861.

" Dear General, —I received your despatch to-day, suggesting Colonel R. B. Lee as the ' best man for Commissary-General, and Colonel J. L. Kemper as Assistant Quartermaster-General.' The President has not the remotest idea of removing Colonel Northrop. On the contrary, he is under the impression that he has done everything in his power in his department. You can readily see that there is, therefore, no possibility of the radical reform you suggest in this department. In the other case it would require a reorganization of the general staff, so for as the Quartermaster Department is concerned.


" Very sincerely yours,


Colonel Miles's opinion was more than confirmed by events. Not only was the Commissary-General maintained in his position, but his influence with the administration appeared to increase, as did, most undoubtedly, his well-known and already proverbial in efficiency. Mr. Davis's book is replete with words of praise and commendation for him. Mr. Davis has not, even to this day, for given those who complained, not of the motives of Colonel North rop—who was known to be a man of character and education—but of his fearful shortcomings, so detrimental to the good of the service.

Mr. Davis says that it affords him the greatest pleasure to speak as he does of Colonel Northrop, " because those less informed of all he did, and skilfully tried to do, have been profuse of criti cism, and sparing indeed of the meed justly his due."" 5 " In an other part of his book he uses the following language: " To di rect the production, preservation, collection, and distribution of food for the army, required a man of rare capacity and character at the head of the subsistence department. It was our good fort une to have such a one in Colonel L. B. Northrop, who was ap pointed Commissary-General at the organization of the bureaus of the executive department of the Confederate government."f These remarks of Mr. Davis are made in defiance of the opinion of the whole South, as entertained and openly expressed through out the war. The disposition to defend a friend and to protect his

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 315. t Ibid. vol. i. p. 303.

reputation is a commendable trait, which should ever be admired among men ; but the First Magistrate of a free people, and Com-mander-in-Chief of their armies, is not a man, in the ordinary sense of the word: he must be more guarded in his encomiums of a friend; he cannot be allowed to give rein to his likes or dis likes; his eye, ever keen and watchful, must be directed to the general good of those who chose him as their leader; otherwise he betrays the trust reposed in him ; he is recreant to his duty; he derides public opinion, becomes the accomplice of inefficiency, if not unworthiness, and deserves as great—perhaps greater— blame, than those he so unwisely sustains.

Mr. Davis's efforts to shield Colonel Xorthrop can only result in shaking the confidence heretofore felt by many persons in the judgment and sagacity of the ex-President of the Confederacy, without doing the slightest good to his former Commissary-Gen eral. It would have been kinder, on the part of Mr. Davis, to have adopted towards him the course he never hesitates to follow to wards those whose merits he cannot deny, but will not admit— pass him by in silence, as though he had never been an actor in the great drama wherein were lost most of the fondest hopes of the South.

The supply of fifteen or twenty days' rations, at Manassas, sug gested in the foregoing communication to the President, as a nec essary preparation for probable movements of the army, had long been the subject of General Beau regard's anxious thought. As we have already seen (Chapter VI.), he had endeavored, as early as June, to collect many of the wagons he needed, and u twenty-five days' rations for about twenty thousand men."' Again, a little later, he caused the following order to be given to his Chief Com missary :


MANASSAS JUNCTION, July lltJi, 18G1. '• Captain "W. II. FOWLE, Camp Pickcns :

u Captain, —The general commanding directs that you take prompt and ef fective measures to provide forthwith, at your depot near these headquarters, ample provisions—including fat cattle—for twenty-five thousand men for two weeks, and that amount, at least, must be constantly maintained on hand, subject to requisition, until otherwise ordered.


That this had not been done, at the time referred to, or at any I.—9

subsequent period, General Beau regard's earnest appeal to the President for such supplies very conclusively demonstrates. It is almost unnecessary to add, that no action was taken by the "War Department to carry out these all-important suggestions; and that, far from any advance on the enemy being made practicable for us, \ve were saved from the calamities foreseen and dreaded by Gen eral Beauregard, not through efforts of the administration, but by the simple fact that the enemy was so crippled and demoralized as to preclude any forward movement on his part.



General Beauregard Suggests a Forward Movement.—Not Approved by Gen eral Johnston.—Sanitary Measures.—Deficiency in Light Artillery.—In structions to Colonel Stuart.— Mason's and Munson's Hills.—General Beauregard Proposes to Hold Them.—General Johnston of a Different Opinion.—Popularity of General Beauregard.—He Establishes His Head quarters at Fairfax Court-House.—Proposes Another Plan Involving De cisive Battle. — General Johnston Deems it Better not to Hazard the Movement.—Organization of the Forces into Divisions.—General Beaure gard Advises that the Army be Placed Under One Head.—President Davis Invited to a Conference at Fairfax Court-House.—Scheme of Oper ations Submitted. — Generals Johnston and G. AV. Smith Approve it.

Troops in Splendid Fighting Condition.—The President Objects. N<>

Reinforcements can be Furnished, and no Arms in the Country.—Review of Mr. Davis's Remarks on the Subject.—He Proposes a Plan for Opera tions Across the Potomac.—The Commanding Generals do not Consider it Feasible.

Ox the Sth of August, at General Beauregard's suggestion, Colonel Evans was ordered to move his brigade to Leesburg, and assume command of all the forces in London County, the object being to protect that region against Federal incursions, about which numerous complaints were made.

It was about that time that General Beauregard resolved to throw his own forces forward, lie hoped, by an advance, to be able more easily to take the offensive, or draw on a battle, while the enemy was yet demoralized and undisciplined. Accordingly, on the 9th and 10th, Longstreet's brigade was moved to Fairfax Court-House, and D. R. Jones's to Germantown. Bonham was drawn back from Vienna to Flint Hill, leaving a strong mounted guard at the former place. Cocke was stationed at Centreville; Ewell at gangster's Crossroads; Early and Hampton at the inter section of the Occoquan with the Wolf Run Shoals road ; and the Louisiana brigade at Mitchell's Ford. Elzey's brigade, of General Johnston's forces, was placed in the immediate vicinity of Fairfax Station, and Jackson's, also of General Johnston's forces, held a posi tion near the crossing of Braddock's and the Fairfax Station roads.

From these advanced positions, the forces, as above enumerated, could be, at any time, concentrated for offensive or defensive pur-poses. General Beauregard's desire was, by a bold movement, to capture the exterior lines of the enemy at Annandale, and, should any serious force come out in support, give it battle, with the chances in favor of the Confederates. But this plan or project, General Beauregard being second in command, had, first, to be submitted to General Johnston, whose approval was necessary for its execution. General Johnston did not assent to it. This dis agreement of opinion between the two commanding generals, whose official intercourse had always been—and continued to be— most friendly, showed, however, that they differed widely in tem perament, and belonged to essentially distinct military schools: General Beauregard. ever in favor of the a^^ressive, and of sub-

O > OO '

jecting an adversary's movements to his own plans — General Johnston, ever on the defensive, and apparently awaiting the action of the enemy.

On the 13th of August General Beauregard was officially in formed, by the Hon. L. P. Walker, Secretary of War, of his ap pointment, by and with the advice and consent of Congress, as " General" in the army of the Confederate States, to take rank from July 21st, 1861. lie gratefully accepted the high distinction thus conferred upon him by the President, who, it will be remem bered, had not awaited the action of Congress to reward his services.

The reader is aware that, on the 23d of August, General Beau-regard again addressed the President* with regard to the insuffi ciency of subsistence for the army at Manassas. lie also urged the sanitary benefits and economy of procuring for each company a good professional cook and baker, with portable kitchens and ovens for encampments. Out of thirty-two thousand six hundred and fifty-five men, the total of his own army at that time, only twenty-two thousand two hundred and ninety-one were fit for duty; much of the sickness being due, it was thought, to bad cooking, as well as bad water.

General Beauregard, at this time, also represented to the Presi dent, through Captain E. P. Alexander, his Chief of Artillery and Ordnance, the great deficiency of the army in light artillery (there was but one piece to each of his thirty-five regiments). He urged

* See Chapter X.

the necessity of three guns to each regiment, or, if these were not to be had, that rocket batteries should be supplied for the purpose of frightening the untrained horses of the enemy. lie asked, likewise, that the cavalry should be raised to at least four or five thousand men, for the purpose of charging on McClellan's bat teries and raw troops, when thrown into disorder by the rockets. It was long, however, before this want of artillery was even par tially supplied, and the organization of the rocket batteries was subsequently thwarted by the military authorities.

General Beauregard now instructed Colonel Stuart, command ing the cavalry outposts, to keep constantly near the enemy, and ordered General Longstreet, with his brigade, to remain in close proximity to Stuart. Towards the end of August, in complying with these orders, Stuart, who was an officer of great enterprise, by a series of daily encounters gradually drove back the Federal force in his front, and, with the co-operation of General Long-street, finally captured Mason's and Munson's Hills, in full view of Washington. General Beauregard, who had had minute informa tion concerning these positions, through Colonel George W. Lay, long a resident of Washington, proposed to General Johnston, now that they were in our hands, to hold and support them by the following arrangement of troops :

1 brigade (Bonham's) at or about old Court-House, near Vienna.

2 brigades (D. R. Jones's and Cockc's) at or about Falls Church. 1 brigade. (Longstrcet's) at or about Munson's Hill.

1 brigade (Johnston's forces) half-way between Mason's and Munson's Hills.

1 brigade (Johnston's forces) at Mason's Hill.

2 brigades (Walker's and Early's) at or about Annandale. 1 brigade (Ewcll's) at or about Springfield.

Some of General Johnston's other brigades were to be placed at Centreville, Fairfax Court-House, and Fairfax Station, and they might occasionally be moved towards the Potomac above, to alarm the enemy and keep him in a state of constant anxiety as to the safety of Washington; then troops could cross into Maryland, should the enemy move in a large force from Washington to any point on the lower Potomac. The place on the river which General Beauregard believed the enemy would make his next point dJappui was Evansport, some thirty miles below Washing ton, and, at the request of General Holmes, he had given instruc tions as to the manner of its fortification.


General Johnston, however, was opposed to the occupation of Mason's and Munson's Hills, and did not approve of the arrange ment suggested, considering the line of Fairfax Court-House suf ficiently advanced for all purposes; and even too distant for the support of Evansport. His main objection was the danger of being drawn into a serious, perhaps general, action, so much nearer to the Federal position than to our own. But General Beaure-gard believed that any expedition of the enemy, sent down the Potomac, might be at once neutralized by a bold movement from above into Maryland and on the rear of Washington. He was willing, besides, should it so happen, to exchange Richmond, tem porarily, for Washington and Maryland. As to a general action, he desired it, for the reason that the Federal army was yet undis ciplined, while our forces, as strong in numbers as might for some time be expected, were in the full prestige of recent victory; an advantage now clearly perceptible in the occasional encounters, with or without an action, between the respective reconnoitring and foraging parties, and quite conspicuous in the affair at Lewins-ville, on the llth of September—but sure to diminish, as time elapsed, by the great increase in numbers, discipline, and arma ment of the opposing forces.

The chronic evil—lack of transportation—had become the sub ject of anxious remonstrance from Captain Alexander, General Beauregard's Chief of Ordnance. With a portion of the army now at the threshold of the Federal encampments (Sept. 7th) his reserve ammunition had been more than a week awaiting trans-


portation, for which requisition had been made on the 20th of August, on the Chief Quartermaster of the army corps.

These ever-recurring annoyances, resulting from the incurable inefficiency which had to be daily contended against, would have depressed and utterly discouraged a man less gifted than General Beauregard. But his activity, his energy and—we may add—his confidence in his own resources, seemed to increase with the ob stacles thus thrown in his way. He could not and would not be despondent. His words, both to his officers and to hfs men, no matter under what circumstances, were always of a nature to in spire them with additional hope, renewed endurance, and confi dence of success.

Through that quick, innate sympathy with military glory, which has ever distinguished the American people, General Beatiregard's

name was now borne to the highest point of popularity. He had struck the first blow at Sumter, and had thereby asserted the ex istence of the Confederacy. He had struck the second blow at Manassas, and had there demonstrated the power and vitality of our cause. " On the afflatus of victory," says the author of " The Lost Cause," "Beauregard at once ascended to the first reputation of the war." lie was looked up to as the future military agent of Southern Independence. The many letters of congratulation, and testimonials of sympathy, confidence, and esteem, he had re ceived from every part of the country, and from all classes of our people, sufficiently showed the light in which he was held, and to whom chiefly, of all Southern leaders in the field, was attributed the triumphant achievements of our arms. The real difficulties of the task he had performed were better understood by his of ficers and men ; and, with them, the enthusiasm which his successes had created throughout the country took the form of an absolute devotion. Nor was this all. Gentlemen of position and influence outside of the army now urged him to allow his name to be pre sented for the Constitutional Presidency, the election to which was then approaching. But he unhesitatingly declined, declaring his place to be only that of a soldier.

Led by that singleness of purpose which guided him through out the war, and undated, except by a just gratification that his efforts in the cause had borne fruitful results, and had brought him heart to heart with his comrades and countrymen, he at once directed his whole care to the reorganization of the troops in the iield, to the preparation for new successes, and the advancement of the strategic frontier beyond the Potomac.

Throwing forward a portion of his troops, by the 12th of Sep tember, he moved his headquarters to Fairfax Court-House, in or der to be nearer to his outer lines, which now stretched from Springfield, below Alexandria, on the right, to the little falls on the Potomac, above Georgetown, on the left, enclosing the Federal forces within a narrow circle, from which they made their obser vations and occasional sorties. For the purpose of watching our camps, and of gaining information of what transpired there, a bal loon was much used by the enemy, often in the night. To de ceive this inconvenient scrutiny, General Beauregard ordered the kindling of numerous fires as soon as darkness fell, so as to sug gest extensive bivouacs on our lines, lie had himself endeavored,

before this, to procure a balloon from Richmond, but without success; and though he afterwards obtained one from a private source, some defect in its construction rendered it of no avail.

Anxious not to lose the present opportunities, General Beaure-gard now proposed to General Johnston, who had also moved his headquarters to Fairfax Court-House, a plan involving a decisive battle. General Gustavus W. Smith,* with General Johnston's forces, was to advance and menace the Federal front, while Gen eral Beauregard, passing southward of the Occoquan, was to turn the Federal left flank and attack it with vigor; an operation re sembling that subsequently made by General Jackson with brilliant success, near Richmond, in 1862, though the Confederate forces, at the time of which we write, were in a condition, both moral and material, more favorable to success in such a movement. General Johnston, however, deemed it better not to hazard a battle at this juncture.

The necessity of organizing the forces into divisions had been a matter of discussion between the two generals. As the lack of division-generals had been the principal cause of the unfortunate miscarriage of General Beauregard's orders in the recent battle of Manassas, he had shortly afterwards written to the Adjutant-General on this important matter, and, later, had represented to the President that both armies should be placed under one head, and commanded as the two corps of a single army. The fact is that, as early as July 24th, only a few days after the battle of Manassas, the division of our forces into two army corps, as sug gested by General Beauregard, had been practically effected by the two commanding generals.f The War Department had not authorized the change, but had, by its silence, clearly acquiesced in it. This was followed by a recommendation, on the part of the senior generals, of seven officers for appointment as major-generals, and of eight others as brigadiers, two of whom were already in command of brigades.

Towards the latter part of September General Johnston wrote

* General Smith had joined the Confederacy, and, upon the suggestion of Generals Johnston and Beauregard, had been commissioned as a Major-Genera 1 by the War Department, August, 18G1.

f From July 24th, all Orders, General or Special, issued by General Beau-regard, were dated " Headquarters 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac."

to the Secretary of War, asking that either lie or the President should come to Fairfax Court-House, to confer upon the subject of organization, and upon a plan for an offensive movement, which would then be submitted to him.

General Beau regard had conceived a scheme of operations, as distinguished for its breadth of view, and greatness of proposed result, as that which had been ineffectually urged before the bat tle of Manassas. It involved the raising of the available forces from forty thousand to sixty thousand, by drawing troops from various parts of the Confederacy ; their places, in the meantime, to be filled by State troops, called out for three or six months. This force assembled, a small corps of diversion was to remain in front, while the army should cross the Potomac, under partial cov er of night, either at Edwards's Ferry, or, by means of a pontoon train, at a point nearly north of Fairfax Court-House, which Gen eral Beauregard was having reconnoitred for that purpose. This army was then to march rapidly upon Washington, and seize the Federal supplies in that city. It seemed almost certain that, even should McClellan reach the threatened point in time—which he might undoubtedly do—he could not withstand our sudden at tack and maintain his position. His forces were undisciplined and demoralized, and Washington had not yet been fortified. Modellings army thus placed at our mercy, and Maryland won. the theatre of war was to be transferred to the Northern States, from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, the entire West being there-bv relieved from peril of invasion. As the Federal government had not yet recovered from the effects of defeat, none of the points from which troops were to be drawn for this movement were seriously threatened ; some of them were not menaced at all; and this offensive movement would have forced the Federal gov ernment to recall its scattered troops for the protection of those points upon which the Confederate army would have been able to march after the fall of Washington. The moral effect of such an exhibition of power on the governments of England and France would have been of incalculable benefit to the Confed eracy.

Upon the submission of this plan to Generals Johnston and Smith, the latter at once approved it, and the former, though for some time unwilling, finally yielded his assent.

President Davis arrived at Fairfax Court-House on the 30th of

September, and remained there two days, at General Beanregard's headquarters. In the conferences which followed between him and Generals Johnston, Beauregard, and Smith, he objected to the organization of the army into corps and divisions, and to the ap pointment of major-generals, as suggested ; but yielded so far as to consent to the formation of divisions and the appointment of two division-generals (Van Dorn and Longstreet) to the Army of the Potomac,* and two others (G. "VV. Smith and Jackson) to the Army of the Shenandoah.f This matter, which we may call a compromise, being thus settled, the plan of invading Maryland was earnestly supported by the three senior generals. Mr. Davis, however, would not agree to it. He declared that he could draw no troops from the points named, and that there were no arms in the coun try for new levies, if raised. This last objection, it is proper here to say, was not an insuperable one. The President should have remembered that if the Confederacy was thus deficient in arma ment it was because he had refused to avail himself of the offer by which, as early as May, 18614 all the arms and equipments needed for our armies could have been procured. But why should not arms have been imported, even at that time (October, 1861), when no Federal blockading squadron could have interfered with any of our plans to that effect ? It is an historical fact that the blockade, though officially proclaimed in May, was only partially effectual twelve months afterwards. Was it that the President thought it too late then to make the effort? He should have known that the plan of campaign submitted to him could not be put into immediate execution ; that the massing of the additional troops required to carry it out—some of which were to be drawn from great distances—would necessarily consume some time. The least display of energy on the part of the administration, the send ing of an order by telegraph to the house of John Frazer & Co., of Charleston, would have been more than sufficient to secure for the government all the arms it required for the new levies spoken of, which, though not directly needed for the forward movement

* Designation of General Beanregard's forces, as per orders issued by him, on the 20th of June, 1861.

t Designation of General Johnston's forces, before and after his junction with General Beauregard.

I Proposal of John Frazer & Co., set forth in Chapter V.

and aggressive campaign urged upon Mr. Davis, could have been used to fill the place of the seasoned troops withdrawn to reinforce the Army of Virginia.

In vain was it urged upon the President that the army was now in splendid fighting condition, and eager again to meet its recently defeated foe ; while, if left inactive, it was liable to deteriorate dur ing the winter, and lose greatly in numbers by the expiration of the enlistment term of the twelve months' men. It was further urged that, with the army raised to sixty thousand men, the movement could be undertaken, with the prospect of success to follow at every other point along the frontier ; whereas, should disaster re sult from the loss of present opportunity, the entire Confederacy might be endangered at a later date, with but inferior hope of re cuperation. Mr. Davis, however, could not be influenced, and de clared that the utmost he could do would be to furnish recruits, to be armed with the surplus stands of arms then at Manassas, amounting to about two thousand five hundred.

Thus was abandoned a plan which, had it been carried out, would have borne mighty results to the Confederacy. That it was a bold one is undoubted. But boldness in our movements, while the prestige of victory yet animated our troops, was clearly the wisest policy to be adopted. It was of the utmost importance for us to follow up our victory, and the surest way of doing so was by making aruaggressive campaign. It would have compelled the enemy, demoralized and unprepared as he still was, to put himself on the defensive to repel invasion on his own soil, instead of at tempting it on ours.

In lieu of the unaccepted movement favored by the generals in command, Mr. Davis suggested that a column be crossed to the eastern shore of the Potomac, opposite Aquia Creek, to capture a Federal division posted there under General Sickles. As the river, at that point more than a mile wide, was held by United States war vessels, and there would hardly have been an oppor tunity for the troops, even if successful, to return to Virginia, this proposition met the approval of none of the three generals, and was therefore courteously discarded. We shall have to recur to this subject later in the present chapter.

Mr. Davis devotes five pages of his book to the " Fairfax Court-llouse Conference," as it was called, and most unjustifiably arraigns Generals J. E. Johnston, Beauregard, and G. W. Smith, not for

having taken a part in it, or expressed their views upon the points at issue between them, but for having," about four months after wards," prepared a "paper" wherein was made "a record of their conversation ; a fact," says Mr. Davis, " which was concealed from me, whereas, both for accuracy and frankness, it should have been submitted to me, even if there had been nothing due to our official relations. Twenty years after the event I learned of this secret report, by one party, without notice having been given to the other, of a conversation said to have lasted two hours."* And Mr. Davis continues as follows: "I have noticed the improbabilities and inconsistencies of the paper, and without remarks I submit to honorable men the concealment from me in which it was pre pared," etc.f

This language is all the more unwarrantable, because Mr. Davis fails to show—though he asserts it—that any effort at conceal ment was ever made by those whom he accuses of it. Knowing the importance of this conference, and desirous of having a true and correct account of it, one that could not be effaced or altered by the lapse of time, the three generals wrote out, while it was still fresh in their memory, all that had passed between them and the President. As nothing was added and nothing suppressed in the memorandum thus made, what obligation was there on their part to submit it to Mr. Davis ? He knew, as well as they did, what had transpired, and had nothing further to learn about it. He also—in all propriety—could have committed the conversation to writing, had it so pleased his fancy; and, provided it was done correctly, no account whatever of his action in the matter was due to the three generals or any one of them.

What Mr. Davis says, to-day, of that conference, shows how wise and how far-seeing were Generals Johnston, Beauregard, and Smith, in preparing the paper alluded to, which has aroused to such an extent the ire of the ex-President. General Beauregard, for one, had already had occasion to learn what light work could be made with a plan of operations verbally submitted to the Com-mander-in-Chief of our armies. We refer to the plan proposed, through Colonel Chestnut, on the 14th of July, 1SG1, before the battle of Manassas, which Mr. Davis denied having ever had any

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government, 1 ' vol. i. p. 451. t Ibid. vol. i. p. 452.


official cognizance of, because no written communication had been handed to him at the time; and because, no doubt, he was una ware that a full report of the circumstance had been drawn up by Colonel Chestnut, and was in General Beauregard's possession. And here, perhaps, the following query may find a fitting place in this review : Did Mr. Davis ever communicate to General Beau-regard his official endorsement upon the report of the battle of Manassas? If he had done so, his charge of''concealment/' un just though it is, would come with a better grace than it does; but, as he did not, his imputation of duplicity falls upon himself. For, as the reader will hereafter learn,-" the President's endorse ment, contradicting, with unreserved severity, statements made by General Beauregard in his report, was an official paper, officially forwarded to Congress, but studiously kept from General Beaure gard's knowledge. The impugned memorandum was altogether an unofficial paper, prepared by the three generals for their own private files, without even a shadow of reproach against the President, and merely intended as a reminder, hereafter, of an important military event. Hence we say, it was a wise and emi nently proper measure to prepare a written memorandum of what occurred at the Fairfax Court-House council. " Verba volant scripta niancnt :^ an adage always to be appreciated for the sound, practical teaching it contains. It is the right, no less than the duty, of leading men, in all countries and in all ages, to see to it that the truth concerning public events is carefully guarded and preserved, in order that it may not be easily tampered with, or made to degenerate into error. As matters now stand, and thanks to the foresight displayed by Generals Johnston, Beauregard, and Smith, Mr. Davis, no less than those who figured with him in the conference we speak of, must abide by its text, as recorded at the time. And to show how completely Mr. Davis errs, when he charges that he was kept purposely in ignorance of the "secret report" he so bitterly denounces, we here state that it was seen of many men during the war—and not as a secret; and that, as early as 1807 or 1SG8—in other words, fully fifteen or sixteen years ago—General Beauregard had this identical memorandum published in The Land We Love —a magazine edited, at that time, by General D. II. Hill, of North Carolina. It was commented on

* In Chapter XIII.

at length, if not republished, in the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion. No one is responsible for Mr. Davis's neglect to take cognizance of it. His appeal, therefore, to the " honorable men " of the country, whose sympathies he desires to enlist in his favor, becomes sim ply puerile; and, far from resulting in injury to those whom he assails, it only recoils upon himself, and exposes the extreme care lessness with which he writes.

Mr. Davis should have inserted that document in his book. His criticisms would then have been better appreciated. Why he ab stained from doing so is not, however, hard to understand. As General Beauregard has no like reasons to refrain from giving full publicity to it (we know that Generals Johnston and Smith think as he does on the subject), we now lay the whole paper before the reader, asking his most careful consideration of it.

"On the 26th of September, 1801, General Joseph E. Johnston addressed a letter to the Secretary of War, in regard to the importance of putting this army in condition to assume the offensive; and suggested that his Excellency the President, or the Secretary of "War, or some one representing them, should at an early day come to the headquarters of the army, then at or near Fairfax Court-House, for the purpose of deciding whether the army could be rein forced to the extent that the commanding general deemed necessary for an offensive campaign.

" His Excellency the President arrived at Fairfax Court-House a few days thereafter, late in the afternoon, and proceeded to the quarters of General Beauregard.

" On the same evening General Johnston and I called to pay our respects. No official subjects of importance were alluded to in that interview. At eight o'clock the next evening, by appointment of the President, a conference was had between himself, General Johnston, General Beauregard, and myself. Va rious matters of detail were introduced by the President, and talked over be tween himself and the two senior generals. Having but recently arrived, and not being well acquainted with the special subject referred to, I took little or no part in this conversation. Finally, with perhaps some abruptness, I said, ' Mr. President, is it not possible to put this army in condition to assume the active offensive ?' adding, that this was a question of vital importance, upon which the success or failure of our cause might depend. This question brought on discussion. The precise conversation which followed I do not propose to give: it was not an argument; there seemed to be little difference of opinion between us in regard to general views and principles. It was clearly stated and agreed to, that the military force of the Confederate States was at the highest point it could attain without arms from abroad; that the portion of this particular army .present for duty was in the finest fighting con dition ; that, if kept inactive, it must retrograde immensely in every respect

during the winter, the effect of which was foreseen and dreaded by us all. The enemy were daily increasing in numbers, arms, discipline, and efficiency —we looked forward to a sad state of things at the opening of a spring cam paign. These and other points being agreed upon without argument, it was again asked, 4 Mr. President, is it not possible to increase the effective strength of this army, and put us in condition to cross the Potomac and carry the war into the enemy's country ? Can you not, by stripping other points to the last they will bear, and even risking defeat at all other places, put us in con dition to move forward ? Success here at this time saves everything, defeat here loses all.' In explanation, and as an illustration of this, the unqualified opinion was advanced, that if, for want of adequate strength on our part in Kentucky, the Federal forces should take military possession of that whole State, and even enter and occupy a portion of Tennessee, that a victory gained by this army beyond the Potomac would, by threatening the heart of the Northern States, compel their armies to fall buck, free Kentucky, and give us the line of the Ohio within ten days thereafter. On the other hand, should our forces in Tennessee and Southern Kentucky be strengthened so as to en able us to take and to hold the Ohio River as a boundary, a disastrous de feat of this army would at once be followed by an overwhelming wave of Northern invaders, that would sweep over Kentucky and Tennessee, extend ing to the northern part of the Cotton States, if not to New Orleans. Similar views were expressed in regard to ultimate results, in Northwestern Virginia, being dependent upon the success or failure of this army; and various other special illustrations were offered—showing, in short, that success here was success everywhere; defeat here, defeat everywhere; and that this was tin-point upon which all the available force of the Confederate States should be concentrated.

"It seemed to be conceded by all that our force, at that time here, was not sufficient for assuming the offensive beyond the Potomac; and that, even with a much larger force, an attack upon their army, under the guns of their for tifications on this side of the river, was out of the question. The President asked me what number of men were necessary, in my opinion, to warrant an offensive campaign, to cross the Potomac, cut off the communication of the enemy with their fortified capital, and carry the war into their country. I answered, 'Fifty thousand effective seasoned soldiers;' explaining that by sea soned soldiers I meant such men as we had here present for duty; and add ed that they would have to be drawn from the peninsula about Yorktown, Norfolk, from Western Virginia, Pensacola, or wherever might be most ex pedient.

"General Johnston and General Bcauregard both said that a force of suti/ thousand such men would be necessary; and that this force would require large additional transportation and munitions of war, the supplies here beins; entirely inadequate for an active campaign in the enemy's country, even with our present force. In this connection there was some discussion of the difficulties to be overcome, and the probabilities of success, but no one questioned the disastrous results of remaining inactive throughout the winter.


" Notwithstanding the belief that many in the Northern army were opposed on principle to invading the Southern States, and that they would fight bet ter in defending their own homes than in attacking ours, it was believed that the best, if not the only place, to insure success, was to concentrate our forces, and attack the enemy in their own country. The President, I think, gave no definite opinion in regard to the number of men necessary for that purpose, and I am sure that no one present considered this a question to be finally de cided by any other person than the commanding general of this army. Re turning to the question that had been twice asked, the President expressed surprise and regret that the number of surplus arms here was so small; and, I thought, spoke bitterly of this disappointment. He then stated, that, at that time, no reinforcement could l>e furnished to this army of the, character asked for, and that the most that could be done would be to furnish recruits to take the surplus arms in store here (say twenty-five hundred stand). That the whole coun try was demanding protection at his hands, and praying for arms and troops for defence. He had long been expecting arms from abroad, but had been disap pointed. He still hoped to get them, but had no positive assurance that they would be received at all. The manufacture of arms in the Confederate States was as yet undeveloped to any considerable extent. Want of arms was the great difficulty; he could not take any troops from the points named, and, without arms from abroad, could not reinforce this army. He expressed re gret, and seemed to feel deeply, as did every one present.

u When the President had thus clearly and positively stated his inability to put this army in the condition deemed by the general necessary before en tering upon an active offensive campaign, it was felt that it might be better to run the risk of almost certain destruction, fighting upon the other side of the Potomac, rather than see the gradual dying-out and deterioration of this army during a winter at the end of which the term of enlistment of half the force would expire. The prospect of a spring campaign, to be commenced un der such discouraging circumstances, w r as rendered all the more gloomy by the daily increasing strength of an enemy already much superior in numbers. On the other hand was the hope and expectation that before the end of win ter arms would be introduced into the country ; and all were confident that we could then not only protect our own country, but successfully invade that of the enemy.

" General Johnston said that he did not feel at liberty to express an opinion as to the practicability of reducing the strength of our forces at points not within the limits of his command; and with but few further remarks from any one, the answer of the President was accepted as final; and it was felt that there was no other course left but to take a defensive position and await the enemy. If they did not advance we had but to await the winter and its results.

" After the main question was dropped, the President proposed that, instead of an active offensive campaign, we should attempt certain partial operations —a sudden blow against Sickles or Banks, or to break the bridge over the Monocacy. This, he thought, besides injuring the enemy, would exert a good influence over our troops, and encourage the people of the Confederate States

generally. In regard to attacking Sickles, it was stated in reply that, as the enemy controlled the river with their ships of war, it would be necessary for us to occupy two points on the river, one above and another below the point of crossing, that we might by our batteries prevent their armed vessels from interfering with the passage of the troops. In any case the difficulty of cross ing large bodies over wide rivers, in the vicinity of an enemy, and then recross-ing, made such expeditions hazardous; it was agreed, however, that if any opportunity should occur, offering reasonable chances of success, that the at tempt would be made.

"During this conference, or council, which lasted, perhaps, two hours, all was earnest, serious, deliberate; the impression made upon me was deep and lasting, and I am convinced that the foregoing statement is not only correct as far as it goes, but, in my opinion, it gives a fair idea of all that occurred at that time in regard to the question of our crossing the Potomac.

" G. AV. SMITH, Maj.-Gcn. C. S. A. " CENTREVILLE, VA., January olst, 18G2. Signed in Triplicate.

'' Our recollections of that conference agree fully with this statement of Gen eral G. W. Smith.

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Gen. C. S. A.

" J. E. JOHNSTON, Gen. C. S. A. " CENTREVILLE, VA., January 31sf, 18G2. Signed in Triplicate."

This is what took place at the Fairfax Court-House conference. It confirms what we have already stated at the beginning of the present chapter.

We now resume our review of Mr. Davis's remarks about it.

In that authoritative tone which ill befits him to-day, and frees from undue courtesy towards him those whom he so cavalierly misrepresents, Mr. Davis, with a view to impugn the veracity of the authors of the foregoing memorandum, writes as follows : " It does not agree in some respects with my memory of what occurred, and is not consistent with itself.' 7 ' Not consistent, says Mr. Davis, " because in one part of the paper it is stated that the re inforcements asked for were to be ' seasoned soldiers? such as were there present;" and in another part, " that he could not take any troops from the points named, and, without arms from abroad, could not reinforce that army." f

Thereupon, and after propping up his premises to suit his purpose, Mr. Davis concludes that, clearly, from the answer he is said to have made to the three generals, " the proposition had l>cen

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 450. t Ibid. vol. i. p. 431. I.—10

for such reinforcements as additional arms could enable him to give" *

These are sweeping assumptions, and such as only men who think themselves certain of impunity would venture. Unfortu nately for Mr. Davis, this is not the case with him. Can he really believe that because he was President of the Confederate States, his mere allegations, resting, as they do, only upon his memory of what occurred twenty years ago, will counterbalance and even out weigh a document, carefully prepared and signed and vouched for, by three such generals as Johnston, Beauregard, and Smith, his peers in gentlemanly attainments, his superiors — especially two of them—in military merit; men of unstained character, en joying, now as then, the entire confidence of their people; and who have, to-day, something more tangible than words to fall back upon, in support of their statements?

No unbiassed reader will believe that this document contains aught but the truth. For, on the one hand, three men of honor certify to its truth, and do so four months after the occurrence it refers to; while, on the other hand, Mr. Davis alone, without note or memorandum to assist him, and after twenty years have elapsed, comes forward and says: My version of the circumstances of the case is not in accord with yours. You are wrong, though you committed to writing the entire conference; I am right, though my memory, frail and treacherous as it may be, is my only vouch er to justify me in controverting the positions you have taken.

With regard to the " inconsistencies" complained of by Mr. Davis, which he would have his readers believe were so easily de tected in the written memorandum now before us, we do not hesi tate to say that they exist in his imagination only. Let the reader carefully examine the paper we have submitted to him, and see if he can discover the " inconsistencies," so obvious, according to Mr. Davis, as to make it a downright " absurdity." f However strong Mr. Davis's arguments may appear in the absence of the doc ument which he interprets to suit his fancy, they fall to the ground and burst as bubbles when confronted with the true facts of the case.

The object of the conference, as we know, was to urge upon the President the necessity of an offensive campaign; to accomplish

* " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. p. 451. The italics are ours. t Ibid. vol. i. p. 450.

which, the army at or near Fairfax Court-House was to be raised to an effective force of sixty thousand men. Not sixty thousand additional men, but an increase of such a number of " seasoned soldiers " as would make up a total of sixty thousand. The Vir ginia army consisted, at that time, of about forty thousand men. General Smith thought that fifty thousand, that is to say, only ten thousand more than we then had—would be sufficient to under take the forward movement. Generals Johnston and Beauregard gave it as their opinion that sixty thousand would be needed; in other words, twenty thousand additional troops.

This being the case—as we have it vouched for by the three generals—where did Mr. Davis discover and how can he assert, that " the lowest estimate made ly any of them was about twice the number there present for duty"?* which—if this were true, as it is not—would have brought up "the force required for the contemplated advance into Maryland'' to eighty thousand men and no less. This assertion shows how unsafe and untrust worthy Mr. Davis's memory is, and it explains, satisfactorily, we think, why it was that he would not give a place in his book to that " secret report," as lie is pleased to call it.

If, as late as October, 1801, Mr. Davis had no arms to furnish to recruits, he had, unquestionably, at the different points designated by the three generals, troops already armed and equipped, already disciplined and drilled. These, had he been willing to favor the plan submitted to him, he could, in less than three weeks' time, have transported to the borders of Virginia, to reinforce the army said, by those who knew it best, to be " in the finest fighting con dition." lie was asked for such troops as could then be found in the peninsula around Yorktown, in Western Virginia, at Pcnsacola, at Mobile, at Charleston, at Xew Orleans; points from which about twenty-five thousand men—five thousand more than were needed —could have been withdrawn without unnecessarily exposing the positions they occupied. These were the "seasoned soldiers" the three generals wanted. They neither called for nor desired raw recruits, raised to bear the arms Mr. Davis might possibly re ceive from Europe, and which he was hoping for, " barring the dangers of the sea." Recruits of that kind, however well armed,

* " Rise and Full of the Confederate Government, 1 ' vol. i. p. 449. The italics are ours.

would have been useless, as they could not have sustained the ar duous campaign sought to be inaugurated, which required pre vious military training and discipline. But Mr. Davis turned a deaf ear to the suggestions made to him. He would not receive the advice of the generals in the field. He failed to seize the great opportunity offered him, and, as usual, took upon himself to decide the fortunes of the Confederacy. No troops, he declared, could be taken from the points named—though none of them were threatened at the time—and no reinforcements, of the char acter asked for, could, therefore, be furnished to the army. He did propose twenty-five hundred recruits for that number of small arms which we had in store; but no further mention was made of recruits, either before, during, or after the conference. What was said of arms, of the expectations of the government about them, and even of Mr. Davis's disappointment at finding the strength of the army " but little increased," are side issues, which should not divert our attention from the true object of the conference and the main question submitted to the President, namely: An aggressive campaign into the enemy's country, conditioned upon reinforcements to be procured from divers points of the Confeder acy, then and there specially designated.

Mr. Davis charges Generals Johnston, Beatiregard, and Smith with assuming to know more about the positions of our troops at different stations of the country than the "War Department itself, whose duty it was to receive all the army returns, and by which questions involving the position and withdrawal of troops, in the field or elsewhere, "could best be decided." If the War Depart ment, or " Richmond," as Mr. Davis has it, knew so much about army matters, how is it that the President, or head of the War Department, expressed so much wonder at the relative small-ness of our force at Fairfax Court-House? The "returns" forwarded to Richmond must certainly have shown him the fact, and the cause of it. If the Cornmander-in-Chief of the army and navy knew so little about the number and condition of forces then in such close proximity to Richmond, is it not rea sonable to suppose that his knowledge of troops stationed at distant points, and in other States, was still more scanty and im perfect ?

Knowing the purely patriotic motives actuating Generals John ston, Beauregard, and Smith, when they suggested the means by

which the advance movement urged by them could be effected; and knowing also how far from their thought it was to make any display of superior knowledge, we must deprecate the bitterness of language used and the irritable personality indulged in by Mr. Davis, in the following passage of his book: " Very little experi ence, or a fair amount of modesty, without experience, would serve to prevent one from announcing his conclusion that troops could be withdrawn from a place or places, without knowing how many were there, and what was the necessity for their presence.''

Whatever may be, to-day, the efforts made by Mr. Davis to shield himself from censure, for the course he then adopted, it remains none the less an incontrovertible fact, that troops, armed and equipped, officered and drilled, could have been brought from the points designated to him, and that he positively refused to al low their transfer to be effected. That, as Commander-in-Chief, he had the right so to act, is unquestioned ; but that he erred in exercising that right is clear to all who followed the history of events, from that time to the end of the war.

Mr. Davis insists, that though the generals he met at Fairfax Court-IIouso were of opinion that u it were better to run the risk of almost certain destruction fighting upon the other side of the Potomac, rather than see the gradual dying-out and deterioration of this army during a winter," ctc.,f yet, "when it icas proposed to ihcm" by Mr. Davis, "to cross into eastern Maryland, on a steamer in our possession, for a partial campaign, difficulties arose like the lion in the path of tfie sluggard, so that the proposition was postponed and never executed. In like manner, the other ex pedition in the valley of Virginia was achieved by an officer not of this council, General T. J. Jackson" ^

No similar expedition was ever thought of or executed during the Confederate War. Mr. Da vis's proposition was unique. The campaign in the valley of Virginia, which, he says, was achieved " by another officer not of this council,'' resembled in nothing the one he had suggested ; for, if it had, even with such a commander

* "Rise and Full of the Confederate Government,'' vol. i. p. 451.

f They did make use of such language, but added : "At the end of which the term of enlistment of half the force would expire;" which made a most sig nificant difference.

I " Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government," vol. i. pp. 450, 451. The italics arc ours.

as Jackson to lead it, overwhelming disaster would have been the result.

Mr. Da vis's plan was, by means of a steamer (a single one), then in our possession, to throw troops across the lower Potomac, for a partial campaign, against a Federal force said to be on the oppo site bank, under General Sickles.

Mr. Davis had evidently forgotten that the Potomac, at that point, was more than a mile and a half wide; with a tide rising and falling from five to six feet, twice in twenty-four hours; with shallow mud-flats in many places, along both shores; and, last but not least, with United States war-vessels controlling the river with untiring activity. He had also forgotten that the Confederate column—not a regiment, nor even a brigade, but, at least, a division —thus to be sent into Maryland, would, of necessity, have had to return to the Virginia shore after the expedition, whether success ful or unsuccessful. Suppose the landing on the other side had been safely effected—we cannot see how, but will suppose it, nevertheless—while the fighting was in progress, the river would have been patrolled with increased vigilance. The enemy would have put forth every effort to cut off the return of the column. Reinforcements would have poured in, from all points, to assist the attacked Federals. What then would have become of the one steamer in our possession ? How could she have brought back our troops, and what troops would have been left to bring back?

We have no hesitation in saying that, had such a movement been attempted, the fate that overtook the Federal column at Ball's Bluff, on the 21st of October of the same year, would have befallen the Confederates. Few indeed—if any—of the doomed men sent across the Potomac, on Mr. Davis's expedition, would have returned to the Virginia shore to tell the story of their defeat.

Had any other but the President and Commander-in-Chief of our armies proposed such a movement to Generals Johnston and Beauregard, he would have been pitilessly and openly derided. As it was, our commanding generals did what military etiquette and their duty towards their men required; they courteously, but, unhesitatingly, rejected the proposal.

We find it stated in the memorandum we have so often referred to, that, at the end of the Fairfax Court-House conference, Mr. Davis, after crushing the hopes of our generals by rejecting their


plan, suggested certain "partial operations" against the enemy, among which, and most conspicuous of all, as being the most promising, was the one just commented upon. This is un doubtedly correct. But as no mention is made of other opera tions in Mr. Davis's book, and as General Beauregard's recollec tion is not quite clear as to their strategic merit, we refrain from attempting any description of them. That they were not exe cuted, is, to us, proof sufficient of their manifest impracticability.


Signal Rockets and Signal Telegraph. — General Beauregard Advises Coast Defenses at New Orleans, Mobile, Galveston, and Berwick Bay, and Calls Attention to the Exposure of Port Royal. — Counsels General Lovell Con cerning River Obstructions between Forts St. Philip and Jackson. — General Johnston Orders the Troops into Winter Quarters. — Our Lines Formed at Centreville. — Drainsville and Ball's Bluff. — General Beauregard Proposes to Intercept General Stone's Retreat, and also Suggests Resolute Attack against McClellan's Right. — Unfriendly Correspondence Between War Department and General Beauregard. — Uncourtcous Language of Mr. Benjamin. — General Beauregard Exposes the Ignorance of the Acting Secretary of War. — Controversy in the Press about General Beauregard's Report of Battle of Manassas.— His Letter to the Editors of Richmond Whig. — The President Accuses General Beauregard of Attempting to Ex alt Himself at His Expense. — He Upholds Mr. Benjamin and Condemns General Beauregard. — Dignity and Forbearance of the Latter.

tlic organization of the array into divisions was being effected, General Beauregard, from close scrutiny of the Northern journals, had come to the conclusion that an early attack was meditated against his lines. To avoid all possibility of surprise, and deceive the enemy about his real strength, he caused rockets to be distributed to his command, with minute instructions as to their use. Very shortly afterwards, as night had just set in, Cap tain E. P. Alexander, whose zeal and activity were untiring, came to headquarters and reported that rockets were being thrown up, in a very strange manner, from the lines of the forces opposing us. General Beauregard at once ordered the discharge of the


appropriate signals; and, in a few moments a counter -blaze of rockets swept the sky along the entire line of the Confederate pickets, which extended about ten miles from the Occoquan, on the right, to the vicinity of the Potomac, north of Falls Church, on the left. The consequence was a most extraordinary illumina tion, which produced an excitement in Washington, where charges soon became rife that officers of the War Department had given information of an intended advance by McClellan, in the night, which the Confederates had shown their readiness to meet.

Through the same officer (Captain Alexander), General Bcaure-gard had also succeeded in establishing a signal telegraph between Mason's and Munson's Hills and Washington. A piece of new tin, made to perform certain turns in the sunlight, by a friendly hand, from the window of an elevated mansion in the Federal capi tal, informed him of McClellan's movements. True, the informa tion was only of a general character, and, uncorroborated, could not have been of much assistance. But it served to arouse his attention, and what with the secret service of his "underground railroad" and the news culled from Northern journals, which were regularly procured, he arrived at a fairly correct knowledge of the enemy's intentions. To render this communication more efficient, an alphabet was afterwards established and messages were sent by moving the shades on the several windows of the mansion alluded to, which, at night, was well lighted up, to make the signs visible. From Mason's and Munson's Hills answers were given by the usual system, that is to say, flags in the daytime, and lanterns as soon as it grew dark. From Washington, lights were resorted to for night signals, and, for the day, the shifting of window cur tains, right and left of an imaginary central line. As to General Beau regard's headquarters and his different outposts, they were put in communication by means of wire telegraph.

The inability of the President to aid in the execution of the aggressive campaign so urgently pressed upon him had left no other course open but to take a defensive position and "await the winter and its results." We were to take no initiatory steps, and light only if attacked. Believing that a period of enforced inactivity would now ensue, General Beauregard's thoughts were turned to the dangers which might threaten the Southern ports — especially New Orleans; and on the 5th of October, in a letter addressed to the Secretary of War, he ex pressed his desire to be sent there during the probable suspension of hostilities in Virginia. He gave it as his opinion that Xew Orleans, Mobile, Galveston, and Berwick Bay, along the Gulf of Mexico, would undoubtedly be assailed, and should be protected by field defences proper to withstand attack, until reinforcements could come to the rescue. He also called attention to the expos ure of Tort Royal, South Carolina, as a harbor of safety on the Atlantic, for the Federals, and as leading directly to the railroad communication between Charleston and Savannah.

On the 6th, Major-General Mansfield Lo veil, who had joined the Southern cause, and had just been commissioned in the Pro visional Army, came to Fairfax Court-House, requesting General Beauregard's counsel with regard to the defense of New Orleans, whither he had been ordered by the War Department. This counsel General Beauregard gave him with great care and much minuteness. It is proper here to state, that, during the recent visit of President Davis to Fairfax Court-House, the subject of the unprotected condition of New Orleans having arisen, General Beauregard, expressing his regret that the Military Board of Louisiana had taken no action as to the suggestions he had made to them, in February, 1861, again strongly urged his views about constructing floating booms between Forts Jackson and St. Philip, to obstruct the passage of a Federal fleet, should such be attempted. The President gave but little weight to these suggestions, and ap peared to have no apprehension as to the safety of that city.

In his interview with General Lovell, General Beauregard em phasized, both orally and in writing, the absolute necessity of such an obstruction, and hoped that General Lovell, who had approved of his system, would lose no time in putting it into operation. Later events showed, however, that the work was not constructed as planned and advised by General Beauregard, both in his con ference with General Lovell and in his memoir to the Louisiana Military Board.*

A few days later, General Johnston, apprehending the ap proaching cold weather, proposed that the forces should now fall back and establish their winter quarters at Manassas. General Beauregard, whose arrangements for signal communication with Washington had been perfected, was reluctant to retire with out a trial of their present opportunity against the enemy. But there w r as no way of avoiding the movement. General Beaure gard, fearing the bad effect upon the army and the people of a retreat to the point held by us before our late victory, proposed Centreville instead of Manassas; and, to overcome the objection that the former place was somewhat commanded by a succession of heights too distant to be embraced w T ithin the Confederate line, he undertook himself to prepare its defences. The order to

*See Chapter L, page 17, about obstructions and floating boom between Forts Jackson and St. Philip.

withdraw his army, however, was so abrupt as to be impracticable without giving the movement the appearance of flight, and in volving the loss of valuable property; it was not executed, there fore, until the 18th or 19th.

In withdrawing from Mason's and Munson's Hills, the Confed erates took their last view of the Federal capital, and bade fare well to a post where soldierly enjoyment, under the exhilaration of successful daring, had been at its highest during days still pleasantly remembered as the festive period of the army life. The positions we abandoned were excellent points of observation, from which the tents of General McClellan's army might be counted; and the fact of our being so near the enemy confused him as to our plan of operations, fur our position seemed to promise offensive measures on our part, and denoted both confi dence and strength. Under a bolder direction, the two hills would have been fortified and made central strategic and tactical points. They were scarcely more than seven miles, in an air line, from Washington, whence the Confederate flag was clearly visible, and acted as a red capa on the impetuous and imprudent politicians, provoking them to insist upon a premature attack. Had the two hills been fortified and supplied with artillery, and the adjacent ground arranged for a pitched battle, into which the enemy might have been drawn in an attempt to seize them, the result to Gen eral McClellan might have been made destructive, as, on his side, the ground was very bad, and unfavorable to the movements of troops.* Such an attack was intended by him about the time the positions were abandoned.

The Confederate forces now took up a line of triangular shape, with Centreville as the salient, one side running to Union Mills and the other to the stone bridge, with outposts of regiments three or four miles forward in all directions, and cavalry pickets as far in advance as Fairfax Court-House. The Federals followed with a corresponding advance of their outposts. Afterwards, upon the closer approach of the enemy, in order to supply the deficiency of cannon, General Beauregard devised a substitute in wooden logs, so shaped and blackened as to present the appearance of guns. They were covered with a shed of brush and leaves, so as to escape balloon observations, and made quite an imposing array,

* General McClellan so describes it in his report.

the peaceful character of which very much surprised the Federal forces when they occupied these works, after their evacuation in the spring.

On the 19th, General McClellan having ordered McCall's divis ion to Drain svillc, about sixteen miles west of Alexandria, to cov er reconnoissances in that quarter, and procure supplies, directed Brigadier-General Stone to feign a crossing of the Potomac from Poolsville, Maryland, and threaten Leesburg, held by one of Gen eral Beauregard's brigades, nnder Colonel Evans. lie hoped by these movements to induce the evacuation of the place. On the 21st, while General McCall was returning to his camp at Langley, General Stone began crossing his division at Edwards's Ferry, and one of his subordinates, General Baker, engaged Colonel Evans in the forenoon. During the day General Stone threw over his en tire division, and the battle continued until night, when the Fed eral forces were completely routed, and many of them, driven over the steep banks at Ball's Bluff, lost their lives in the river.*

Upon receiving from Evans immediate news of the conflict, General Beauregard proposed to General Johnston to march at once, with sufficient force, and cut off General Stone's retreat, as the Potomac, swollen by rains, was then difficult to cross. Gen eral Johnston did not agree to this, fearing that some occurrence might take place requiring the presence of all our forces with the main army. While Banks's division, from Darnestown, Maryland, moved to his support, General Stone intrenched on the Virginia shore, but did not succeed in recrossing until the night of the 23d and 24th.

Just at this time transports had been observed descending the Potomac, laden with a heavy armament, reported to be intended for use against General Magruder, who commanded at Yorktown, on the Peninsula below Richmond, and a heavy force had, mean while, gathered north of the Potomac, opposite to Evans. Seiz ing the opportunity, General Beauregard proposed a resolute at tack against McClellan's extreme right, exposed by its salience in the quarter of Drainsville, in order to relieve Evans and break through the enemy's plans; but the proposition was not assented to by General Johnston,

Evans's loss at Ball's Bluff was forty men. He captured four-

* From General McClellan's Report.

teen officers and seven hundred men. The entire loss of the en emy, in killed, wounded, and prisoners, was between one thousand and twelve hundred. Among the slain was General Baker, whose body was returned to the Federal lines. When, at a later date, General Stone was arrested and put on trial for his conduct of that expedition, Colonel Jordan, General Beauregard's Chief of Staff, noticed in a Northern journal that one of the charges against General Stone was his failure to give certain orders to General Baker. Written orders, however, had been found on General Ba ker's body, which would aid in vindicating General Stone ; and Colonel Jordan, having mentioned the fact to General Beaure-gard, the latter caused the papers to be immediately sent Xorth, under a flag of truce; an act of chivalry to the imperilled honor of a foe.

Until early October, the personal relations of General Beaure-gard with the government officials—except in the case of Colo nel Xorthrop's violent eccentricities—had been those of unstudied friendship, although serious obstructions had also been encoun tered from the Quartermaster's Department at Richmond. Hav ing now occasion to recommend the appointment of Mr. T. B. Fer guson, as Chief of Ordnance of the " First Corps," in the place of Captain E. P. Alexander, whose services had been transferred to General Johnston, on account of his needs as General-in-Chief, General Beauregard received from a subordinate in the War De partment* the brief reply that the President did not approve the division of the army into two corps, and preferred that there should be but one Chief of Ordnance to the Army of the Poto mac.

General Beauregard was more than disappointed at this abrupt, unceremonious way of rejecting his demand. Though not always successful in his applications, he had been accustomed to more courteous treatment from the War Department. He thought that, apart from the question of giving him an ordnance officer, of the need of whose services he was no doubt the better judge, the President ought not arbitrarily to interfere with measures of usefulness and efficiency, which generals actually in the field could more accurately appreciate and more wisely manage. In the an tagonism of Mr. Davis to a system of organization which had

* A. T. Bledsoe, Assistant Secretary of War.

been working with remarkable success for several weeks, he saw a fixed purpose to thwart not only his own views, but more partic ularly those of General Johnston, whose relations with Richmond were already growing to be of a delicate and uneasy character. He therefore expressed his dissatisfaction to the Secretary of War, and went so far as to say, that if he was to understand, by such a letter, that he was no longer in command of an army corps, he re quested to be relieved at once from his false position ; otherwise, he desired the services of a Chief of Ordnance. He urged that the more imperfect the elements of an army in the field, the greater should be its subdivisions under competent officers, in or der that commanders might spare, for their most important duties, the time and attention unprofitably lost in devotion to minor de tails ; and that Mr. Ferguson's appointment was to provide a Chief of Ordnance to attend to the duties of that important de partment. He also addressed the President on the same subject. In the month of August, Adjutant-General Cooper had earnest ly approved General Beau regard's proposition to introduce a rock et battery in his command. The object of such a battery has al ready been explained. The Chief of Ordnance, having procured the manufacture of the rockets, General Beauregard intrusted Captain E. P. Alexander with the organization of the battery, and in the latter end of September, upon his recommendation, had au thorized Lieutenant Edmund Cummins to enlist a rocket company of fifty volunteers. Being now in Richmond on this duty, Lieu tenant Cummins, on application to the Post Quartermaster and Commissary, found his authority questioned, and no attention given to his requisitions. Referred ultimately for recognition to the Secretary of War, Mr. Benjamin, the latter told him to wait until the President should decide the matter. He then finally in formed him that his orders w r ere invalid, and remanded him to the army. There followed a letter from the Secretary of War to General Beauregard, expressing his " no small surprise " that he should have committed an act " without warrant in law," and in forming him that he could be excused and "go unpunished," only on account of his motive and his defect of judgment. This un called-for and altogether unwarrantable language, on the part of the Secretary of War, staggered General Beauregard, as it seemed improbable that Mr. Benjamin had ventured it on his own responsibility. Viewed as an extreme expedient to provoke a

predetermined quarrel, it corroborated warnings already received from high quarters, warnings too authentic to be wholly disre garded, to which, however, General Beauregard had been unwill ing to yield entire credence. Overlooking Mr. Benjamin, he refer red his letter to the President, to whom he exposed the Secretary's ignorance upon the subject, and protested against his ill-timed ob structions and arguments. The following is an extract from the letter, written to Mr. Davis, under date of October 20th, 1861. ***** *#*

" I have felt it due to your Excellency and the country, at this juncture, as well as to myself, to invoke your notice of this matter, so that guard may be placed against a recurrence of this character of correspondence. ... I am utter ly at a loss to understand wherein my course, in connection with the subject-matter of the Secretary's letter, can be pronounced ' without warrant in law,' and be the source of'so much surprise.' The Secretary seems to be unaware, evidently, that a rocket company is but a field artillery company, nothing more, and not, by any means, a special corps or arm of the service, like that, for example, of sappers, miners, or pontoniers—as I apprehend he supposes— requiring congressional enactments for its organization, in addition to existing laws. An acquaintance with the history of the military establishment and organization of the late United States would have protected the Acting Secre tary from this misapprehension, as he would have then known in what way, during the war with Mexico, a rocket battery was organized for the field, with the army under General Scott. . . .

" But in this very matter, it so happens I did not act without consultation with all proper authorities. Assured of the difficulties in getting field guns in any adequate number for the exigency, and convinced of the value of war rockets against such troops as our adversaries have, I despatched an officer of my staff—Captain E. P. Alexander—last August, to Richmond, to consult and arrange measures with the proper departments. lie saw the Adjutant-General of the army on the subject, and received, I am happy to say, the most ample, cordial approval of the plan; and the Chief of Ordnance took immediate steps for manufacturing the rockets with the utmost celerity.

" On the return of Captain Alexander from his mission, so satisfactorily con cluded in all respects, it became proper to secure men to be ready for the rocket battery, so that no time should be lost. It so happened that a valuable offi cer, by circumstances thrown out of employment, was available, and thought to be particularly fitted for the command of a rocket battery; while it was believed that he could readily recruit a company without subtracting from our already too weak army. Under these circumstances, I need not say to your Excellency, I did not hesitate to direct him to recruit such a company as soon as possible. . . . God knows, in all I do at this time, I have no other end in view than the good and success of our cause and the interests of our coun try, now sorely pressed; and I can and do confidently deny the allegation of the Acting Secretary, that my conduct has been wanting in judgment in this

connection. I am quite willing, indeed, that you shall decide whose '•judgment'* has been most at fault—that of your general, who has simply done what was essential to provide men to handle the rockets as soon as ready for use, and thus materially increase his means of defence and ability to maintain our im perilled cause; or that of the functionary at his desk, who deems it a fit time to weave technical pleas of obstruction, to debate about the prerogative of his office and of your Excellency's, and to write lectures on law while the enemy is mustering in our front, with at least three times our force in infan try, and four times as much artillery.

" In the interest of the country, you have been graciously pleased to dele gate to myself and other generals in command of the armies of the Confeder ate States, ample powers—which could be readily adduced—under which I could show full 'warrant' for what I have done. Strange, indeed, were it not so; passing strange that a general officer, intrusted with such an army as I command, and the solemn, momentous duties imposed 'upon him at this time,' should be left utterly without power to add to his forces a single com pany, in the simple manner proposed in Special Orders No. 353 ; and that the attempt to do so should fill a high public functionary with so much surprise that I can only be excused and ' go unpunished ' in view of my motives and defect of judgment.


" Excuse me for the length of this letter, the subject-matter of which I now hope to dismiss, and about which I can have no controversy whatever with the Secretary at this time.

" Respectfully, your obedient servant,

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Gen. Coin dig."

As General Beauregard wrote the foregoing communication, an other letter came from the Secretary on the subject of the appoint ment of a Chief of Ordnance, and the question of treating the ar mies of the Potomac and of the Shenandoah as two corps of one army, characterized, likewise, by an unjustified and offensive li cense of expression. This, also, General Beauregard felt bound to refer to the President, with the request that he might be shield ed from a repetition of such personal attacks. lie said:

" I am willing that, in the future, my countrymen shall adjudge whether or not I have 'studied' aright the legislation of Congress in relation to army or ganizations ; whether, as the honorable Secretary courteously advises, I have taken the 'pains' to read the laws of Congress, made to 'provide for the pub lic defence ;' or whether, in my ignorance of that legislation, I require enlight enment after the manner of the communication enclosed.

"Meantime I am here, as the soldier of the cause, ready, to the best of my ability, to execute the orders of the government, either with regard to the organization of this army or its operations, asking only for definite orders from

the proper source, and expressed in proper terms. I am ready to act in any capacity demanded of me.

"With this, I shall leave it to your Excellency, an educated soldier, keenly alive to all the sensibilities which our profession and associations engender, to shield me, for the present, from these ill-timed, unaccountable annoyances. "Respectfully, your obedient servant,

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, Gen. Coradg."

Though, as between General Beanregard and the Secretary of War personally, these letters were well answered by a significant silence on the part of the former, yet they produced on his mind a painful impression. In close proximity to an enemy far supe rior in number to our forces, and who, at any moment, might make an attack upon us—every hour of his life, apart from brief rest, being devoted to the hard task before him—he felt keenly this absence of support, and the refusal of such an easy increase to his scant resources; all the more strange, as it had been previ ously approved of by the heads of two high department bureaus, to whom it had been submitted, and whose sanction had clothed it with all sufficient authority.

Notwithstanding—and immediately following—this correspond ence, General Beanregard, ever forgetful of self, and thinking only of the interests of the cause, exchanged views with the President respecting this important point of army organization. It was done in the same spirit of friendliness and kindness of tone that had hitherto prevailed between them. The Army of the Potomac (General Beauregard's) and that of the Shenandoah (General Johnston's) had never been merged by any order of the War De partment, but had been designated by both generals, since the battle of Manassas, the First and Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac, for convenience and abbreviation; and, though separate in administration, had been considered as acting together under the chief command of General Johnston, as senior officer present; Gen eral Beauregard retaining command of his own troops, and Major-General G. W. Smith takin^ chanre of General Johnston's forces


proper. That the "War Department, as we have already alleged, was fully cognizant of this fact, is further shown by the very let ter informing General Beauregard of the President's disapproval of such a division. A. T. Bledsoe, " Chief Bureau of War "—as he signs himself in that letter dated "War Department, Richmond, October SM, 1801"—says: "The letter of Captain E. P. Alexan-L—11

der, recommending T. B. Ferguson for the post of Chief of Ord nance for the First Corps of the Army of the Potomac, with your endorsement, has been referred," etc. Besides, all the official pa pers sent by Generals Johnston and Beauregard for months past to the War Department, or to the President, had been headed " First" or " Second Corps of the Army of the Potomac." It is nat ural to suppose, therefore, that the change in the President's mind, which induced him to disapprove, at this late hour, of what he had tacitly—if not otherwise—consented to, had been brought about by reasons and influences having very little to do with the real question at issue.

The War Department acted on the theory that General Beaure gard was in command of the whole united army; but, that there being another officer present of equal grade and anterior commis sion, the latter was first in command of the whole, and General Beauregard second in command of the whole. The General rep resented to Mr. Davis the evil consequences of this theory, as vir tually throwing out of position several officers of the highest grades, upon the junction of their forces for some great object, and at the very time when their services, in command of their proper corps, were most needed; as in the event of General Lee's army, in Northwestern Virginia, and General Holmes's, at Aquia Creek, uniting with Generals Johnston's and Beauregard's. There would thus be a second and third commander of the whole army, which would result in all the generals, excepting the senior one— General Lee—being out of service. He brought forward and dwelt upon another reason, which was that, with such an organ ization, separate inferior commanders would not be so prompt to execute a junction at a critical moment.

This theory of the War Department w T as without precedent in military administration, and one of its many evils, depending on the possible deductions of the department, was the present with drawal, from an entire army corps, of the services of a Chief of Ordnance, on the ground that the army of the junior officer was absorbed, and there existed no such legal organization as a " corps." The President also desired that divisions, as well as brigades, should be composed of troops from the same State. General Beauregard had already thus organized his brigades on the 25th of July, but declared his judgment against extending the rule to divisions, because, in case a division thus organized were cut to

pieces or captured in battle, the loss would fall too heavily on a single State; and in this Mr. Davis seemed to agree, as that form of organization was not further urged.

President Davis also wrote strongly, assuring General Beaure-gard that the Acting Secretary of War had intended no offense, asking him to overlook the language of the technical lawyer, and stating his conviction of the latter's regard and admiration for the General; though, meanwhile, Mr. Benjamin, certain of impunity, was writing, upon other matters, letters of like impropriety, under cover of the forms of conventional courtesy.

General Beauregard's attention was now drawn to a controversy, raised in the press, about that portion of a published synopsis of his Manassas report which revealed to the public his plan of cam paign, as proposed to the President through Colonel Chestnut, for the occupation of Maryland and the capture of "Washington,* which had been, at that time, the 1-ith of July, 1861, discarded bv Mr. Davis and pronounced impracticable. This publication, and the discussion arising from it, were subjects of much concern to General Beauregard, who, deploring all division among our lead ers, refused to take any part whatever in the controversy. Finally, however, but only with a view to allay public feeling, he wrote to the Richmond Whiy a letter, which called forth the warm praise of his numerous friends, who were anxious, as he was himself, that the cause of public defence should not be embarrassed by personal contests. We deem it proper to lay this whole letter before the reader.

" CEXTREVILLE, VA. (within hearing of the enemy's guns),

Nov. 3(7, 18G1. "To the Editors of the Richmond Whig :

" Gentlemen, —My attention has just been called to an unfortunate contro versy now going on, relative to the publication of the synopsis of my report of the battle of Manassas. None can regret more than I do this publication, which was made without my knowledge or authority.

" The President is the sole judge of when and what parts of the report of u commanding officer should be made public. I, individually, do not object to delaying its publication as long as the War Department shall think it neces sary and proper for the success of our cause.

" Meanwhile, I entreat my friends not to trouble themselves about refuting the slanders and calumnies aimed at me. Alcibiades, on a certain occasion, resorted to a singular method to occupy the minds of his traducers; let, then. ' that synopsis' answer the same purpose for me in this instance.

* Chapter VIII., page 85.

" If certain minds cannot understand the difference between patriotism, the highest civic virtue, and office-seeking, the lowest civic occupation, I pity them from the bottom of my heart. Suffice it to say, that I prefer the respect and esteem of my countrymen to the admiration and envy of the world. I hope, for the sake of our cause and country, to be able, with the assistance of a kind Providence, to answer my calumniators with new victories over our national enemies ; but I have nothing to ask of the country, the government, or my friends, except to afford me all the aid they can, in the great struggle we are now engaged upon. I am not, and never expect or desire to be, a candidate for any civil office in the gift of the people or of the executive. The acme of my ambition is, after having cast my mite in the defense of our sacred cause, and assisted, to the best of my ability, in securing our rights and independence as a nation, to retire into private life (my means then permitting) never to leave my home, unless to fight again the battles of my country. ''Respectfully,your most obedient servant,


The circumstances attending the publication of this letter are described with graphic precision by Mr. Pollard, in his book en titled "Lee and his Lieutenants," pp. 246-248. Our only sur prise, after reading what the author there asserts of the causes leading to the unfriendly relations which, from that time, existed between the President and General Beau regard, is that he should have deemed General Beauregard's letter unnecessary, and its " publication ill-advised." Had he not disclaimed all idea of rival ry with the President and openly declared that he was no aspirant to political honors, the animosity displayed by President Davis would have been still greater against him, to the manifest injury of the public service. Mr. Pollard says: "Whatever the merits of that controversy, it is not to be denied that from this time there commenced to be evident that jealousy or dislike on the part of the administration towards General Beauregard which, through the war, tended to cripple his energies and neutralized his best plans of campaign." Such being the case, what might not have been the result, had General Beauregard, by his silence, confirmed Mr. Davis in his avowed suppositions concerning him ? The fol lowing letter testifies to the feelings which appear to have been suddenly aroused in Mr. Davis's mind. It explains the hostile attitude of his administration towards General Beauregard, and fully justifies the latter in his endeavor to set himself right before the country. The importance and the significant bearing of this letter render necessary its publication entire.

" RICHMOND, VA., Oct. 30M, 1861. " General G. T. BEAUREGARD :

" Sir. — Yesterday my attention was called to various newspaper publica tions purporting to have been sent from Manassas, and to a synopsis of your report of the battle of the 21st of July past, and in which it is represented that you had been overruled by me in your plan for a battle with the enemy south of the Potomac, for the capture of Baltimore and Washington, and the libera tion of Maryland.

" I inquired for your long-expected report, and it has to-day been submitted to my inspection ; it appears by official endorsement to have been received by the Adjutant-General on the 15th of October, though it is dated August 2Gth, 1801.*

"With much surprise I found that the newspaper statements were sustained by the text of your report.

"I was surprised, because, if we did differ in opinion as to the measures and purposes of contemplated campaigns, such fact could have no appropriate place in the report of a battle; further, because it seemed to be an attempt to exalt yourself at my expense ; and especially because no such plun (is that described icas submitted to me.^ It is true that some time before it was ordered you ex pressed a desire for the junction of General Johnston's army with your own. The movement was postponed until the operations of the enemy rendered it necessary, and until it became thereby practicable to make it with safety to the valley of Virginia. Hence, I believe, was secured the success by which it was attended.

" If you have retained a copy of the plan of campaign which you say was submitted to me through Colonel Chestnut, allow me to request that you will furnish me with a duplicate of it.

" Very respectfully yours, etc.,


The tenor of this letter, the assertions it contains, and the ex pressions made use of by President Davis are so extraordinary, and denote such a state of mental irritation, that, though reluc tant, we arc compelled to iix public attention upon it. The prcss-

* General Beaurcgard's report of the battle of Manassas had been written and was about to be forwarded to the War Department, when the Federal re ports began to appear in the Northern papers. Taking advantage of many facts and incidents thus divulged, and of important admissions on the part of the enemy, General Beauregard determined to transform his report into a full "his tory" of the battle—which was accordingly done—thereby considerably add ing to its length and value. The first portion of the report, containing what was termed the "strategy "of the campaign, remained unchanged, and, by an oversight, the date was left as originally written. A letter from General Beau-regard to General Cooper showed distinctly, however, when the " history " of the battle was prepared and sent in to Richmond.

fThe italics are ours.


ure of official business may have contributed to weaken the Pres ident's memory of many an event that occurred between the be ginning of the war and the period we now write of; but that the proposition of so momentous a campaign, urged and presented to his consideration through the medium of such a man as Colo nel Chestnut, could have altogether disappeared from his mem ory, is an assertion which we regret that Mr. Davis ever made. Still more to be deplored is the further assertion that the junc tion of General Johnston's army with General Beauregard's was purposely postponed by him (the President) until that junction became opportune and thus " secured the success by which it was attended." While writing these words, Mr. Davis had evidently lost sight of the telegram sent by General Cooper—it is needless to say by whose authority—which is given in full in the Appendix to Chapter VIII. of this work. For convenience, we copy it again, as follows:

" RICHMOND, July 19$, 1801. " General BEAUREGARD, Manassas, VA. :

" We have no intelligence from General Johnston. If the enemy in front of you has abandoned an immediate attack, and General Johnston has not moved, you had better withdraw tJie call upon him, so that he may he left to his full discre tion* All the troops arriving at Lynch burg are ordered to join you. From this place we will send as fast as transportation permits. The enemy is advised at Washington of the projected movement of Generals Johnston and Holmes, and may vary his plans in conformity thereto.

" S. COOPER, Adjutant-General."

Had General Beauregard obeyed the instructions there given by the War Department, and " withdrawn" his call upon General Johnston, need we say that no "junction " would have taken place at all, and that the "success by which it was attended" would never have caused Mr. Davis the gratification lie expressed ?

Here are glaring facts which cannot be gainsaid. It was only when the War Department had been informed, on the 17th of July, that the enemy, in force, had driven in General Bonham's pickets, at Fairfax Court-House, not more than twelve miles from Manassas, that General Beauregard was allowed to call upon Gen eral Johnston, then at Winchester, more than sixty miles away on his left, and upon General Holmes, then at Aquia Creek, about

* The italics are ours.

thirty miles distant on his right, to form a junction with him at Manassas. And it must be remembered, that General Beaure-gard's forces at that moment numbered about eighteen thousand men, while those of General McDowell, at and advancing on Fair fax Court-House, amounted to some forty thousand. And it was only because General Beauregard's sagacious strategy forced the enemy to follow General Bonham in his preconcerted retreat to Mitchell's Ford, the only strong point of General Beauregard's de fensive line, that he was enabled to defeat McDowell on the ISth, and hold him in check until the 20th, when General Holmes joined his forces with General Beauregard's, and General Johnston ar rived with part of his own, the other and larger portion of which only reached the point of concentration about 3 r. M. on the 21st, while the battle was in fierce progress and we were near being over powered. Procrastination and hesitation are always fatal to mili-tar}^ success. It is through waiting for the enemy to develop his plans that great battles and great opportunities in war are lost.

Two days after forwarding his letter to the Richmond Whig — to wit, on November the 5th—General Beauregard addressed a communication to the President, accepting his assurance that the Secretary of War had meant no offence by his previous communi cations, but protesting that the latter should not call his motives into question, and, when seeking to point out errors, should do it in a more becoming tone and style. Alluding to the reference made by Mr. Davis to the "technical lawyer," lie expressed his concern lest Mr. Benjamin, following the professional bent of his mind, would view only the legal aspect of things, and insensibly put both the army and himself into the " strait jackets" of the law.

Mr. Davis, with the tenacity which characterized his whole career as President, would not admit that the Secretary whom lie had selected could, under any circumstances, commit an error or im propriety. And the injudicious support he had given, before, to Colonel Northrop, he now, but more directly, bestowed upon Mr. Benjamin, careless of the wide-spread evils which might result from such an act. If he did not prompt the course of Mr. Benja min,* he openly interposed himself to soothe the exaggerated sus-

* The lion. L. P. Walker, of Alabama, being a civilian, without knowledge of army matters, accepted the position of Secretary of War, with the express

ceptibilities of his Secretary of War, and sacrificed the feelings and pride of a general who enjoyed, as he well knew, the full con fidence of both army and people.

We extract the following passages from his answer to General Beau regard:

" RICHMOND, VA., November IQth, 1861. " General G. T. BEAUREGARD :

"/&>,—When I addressed you in relation to your complaint because of the letters written to you by Mr. Benjamin, Acting Secretary of War, it was hoped that you would see that you had misrepresented his expressions, and would be content.


"I do not feel competent to instruct Mr. Benjamin in the matter of style; there are few whom the public would, probably, believe fit for that task. But the other point quoted from your letter presents matters for graver considera tion, and it is that which induces me to reply. It cannot be peculiar to Mr. Benjamin to look at every exercise of official power in its legal aspect, and you surely did not intend to inform rne that your army and yourself are outside of the limits of the law.

" It is my duty to see that the laws are faithfully executed, and I cannot recognize the pretension of any one that their restraint is too narrow for him. *********

" Very respectfully,


It was a polemic turn of words to give such meaning to Gen eral Beauregard's language as applied to the facts and to Mr. Davis's own suggestion about the "technical lawyer." Mr. Ben jamin's possible merits as to "style" were, then, of little moment to the public; the graver matter being that it was "peculiar" to the Administrator of the War Department to be " a poor civilian who knows nothing about war" as he had regarded himself until clothed with the pretensions of office;* and to make up for his lack of usefulness in that important seat, he was pleased to indulge in abstract and futile disquisitions. The least, though still great, harm of this peculiarity was the loss of time it occasioned, the weight it became upon the service, when pushed to the extent of

understanding that President Davis, who had been Secretary of War under President Pierce, should direct the affairs of the office. Doubtless, Mr. Benja min filled the post in the same way.

* See letter of Mr. Benjamin to General Bcauregard after the fall of Sumter, Chapter V.

harassing a general in the field, with sensitive personal cares, at a time when his headquarters were " within sound of the enemy's guns."

As soon as he could, General Beau regard replied to the Presi dent's letter respecting the Manassas report, but made it a point to take no notice whatever of its personal imputations. It was impossible, of course, to comply literally with the request for a duplicate of the copy of the plan said to have been submitted, as the plan was not written, but presented to Mr. Davis himself, through Colonel Chestnut, who carried a written memorandum of its main features, and full verbal instructions. General Beaure-crard's answer read as follows:



" CI:NTREVILLK, VA., y»v. 22<7, 1801.

« sif^ —In compliance with your request, I have the honor to enclose you herewith, at the earliest moment practicable, a copy of the following papers relating to the strategic part of my report of the battle of Manassas, to wit:

" 1st. Report of the Hon. James Chestnut of his visit to Richmond, July 14th, 18G1, to submit to you my plan of operations for the defeat of the enemy. The original of this report has just been received from New Orleans, where it had been sent for safe-keeping, with other important papers.*

"2d. Abstract of my report, containing only the strategic portion of it.f "3d. Letter of Brigadier-General Sam. Jones, giving his recollection of the memorandum dictated to him by me, at about 11 o'clock P.M., on the 13th of July last, for the use of Colonel James Chestnut, one of my volunteer aids. The memorandum was never returned to me, and I kept no copy of it.J

"4th. Nine telegrams received or sent by me, from the 15th to the 19th July, 18G1.§

"I remain, Sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,

" G. T. BEAUREGARD, General Comdg. " To his Excellency President JEFFERSON DAVIS, Richmond, Va."

* See Colonel Chestnut's report to General Beaurcgard, given in full in Chapter VIII.

t The abstract alluded to is the first part of the Mauassas Report, to be found in Appendix to Chapter IX.

* Brigadier-General Sam. Jones's letter appears in full in Appendix to Chap ter VIII.

§ Most of the telegrams referred to are given in Chapter VIII. One of them appears in full in this Chapter.


Creation of the Department of Northern Virginia.—Distribution of New Confederate Battle Flags.—Debate in Congress about the Action of the President with Regard to General Beauregard's Report of the Battle of Manassas.—Telegram of the Hon. James L. Kemper Concerning it.— General BeauregarcVs Answer.—Letter of Colonel Pryor on the Same Subject.—Commentaries on the Executive Endorsement.—Governor Moore Forwards Resolutions of Louisiana Legislature, Congratulating General Beauregard.—Circular to Division Commanders about Leaves of Absence. —Congress Passes an Act in Regard to the Matter.—Its Effect.—General Beauregard's Plan of Recruitment.

BY General Orders Ko. 15, received October 25th, from the War Department, the armies in northern and eastern Virginia were brought into combined relation ; a system which had been urgently recommended by General Beauregard in the early part of June.